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Melrose mayor announces deal with patrolmen's union

Posted by Jarret Bencks  January 9, 2013 12:44 PM

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In what Mayor Rob Dolan described as an "historical agreement," the city of Melrose has struck a deal with the city's police patrolmen's union that promises at least three patrolmen and an officer on city streets during all shifts, Dolan said in a statement this week.

The deal comes one year after Dolan announced an outside expert would review operations at the Melrose Police Department in an effort to address rising overtime costs, he said in the statement.

"It was not always easy to get to this point but we successfully completed it, and I think we have a mutually satisfactory deal for citizens, for police officers, and for sound police operations," Dolan said.

The deal includes a change in shift bidding, the process of choosing shifts by patrolmen, the announcement said. Currently, shifts are only bid when a new union contract is signed, but under the new agreement shift bidding will occur every two years, the statement said.

"Increasing the frequency will allow the chief more flexibility in making assignments," Dolan said in the statement.

Along with announcing the agreement, Dolan's statement said the police department's facilities would undergo a series of improvements, including a $400,000 overhaul of its communication system, a $24,000 increase in spending on training, and phased renovations for the police station.

Jarret Bencks can be reached at bencks.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on twitter @JarretBencks.

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