San Bernardino Seal

San Bernardino Mayor Carey Davis called the contract agreement between the city and the San Bernardino Police Officers Association “very favorable” to the city.

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 07/29/15 – 5:42 PM PDT |

After more than two years of police leaving San Bernardino, saying the lack of a contract robbed them of a sense of stability in a city where many residents say crime is their top concern, the police union and city negotiators both say they’ve agreed on a new contract.

City officials trumpeted the deal, although it must be ratified by the City Council before it goes into effect. The police union met Friday night to discuss the deal and tallied their votes Wednesday, said San Bernardino Police Officers Association attorney Ron Oliner.

“SBPOA has voted overwhelmingly in support of the deal with the city,” Oliner said, speaking by phone during a bankruptcy hearing in Riverside. “We also anticipate that the deal … will hopefully keep men and women on the force from exiting the city of San Bernardino.”

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury praised the two sides for reaching the deal and a mediation judge for helping broker it.

“It is an incredibly important step,” Jury said, saying she hoped it would end adversarial court filings by the union that had been one of the city’s main challengers in court. “Obviously that’s not going to happen with fire (union), but at least it happened with police. It is a very big step, and I hope the city votes in favor next week.”

After the hearing, Mayor Carey Davis said the deal was “very favorable” to the city, and City Attorney Gary Saenz said it was a milestone in efforts to turn around the city.

“This is a very good deal for the city and a very good deal for the police, but most of all, it’s a very good deal for the citizens of San Bernardino,” Saenz said. “The Police Department and the city are once more on the same side, and police will have the stability to improve the crime rate that many people, in the survey we did as part of the strategic planning process, identified as one of the main issues in the city.”

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