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Columbus Police Union Reportedly Approves New Contract

Columbus Police vehicles outside the division headquarters.
David Holm
/
WOSU
Keith Ferrell, president of the union representing Columbus police officers, discusses the union's intent to wait on additional facts before deciding whether to challenge the firing of officer Adam Coy, on Jan. 11, 2021.

The union representing Columbus police officers has reportedly voted to confirm its next contract.

The local Fraternal Order of Police chapter president tells several local media outlets that officers voted overwhelmingly for the three-year contract. F.O.P. leaders did not immediately respond to requests for comment from WOSU.

City and union leaders reached a tentative agreement last week and members spent four days voting on the contract.

It gives members 14% raises in pay and benefits over three years and offers $200,000 buyouts to officers with more than 25 years experience.

It also sets rules for the new civilian review board. Under the agreement, the board and the new Office of the Inspector General will not have subpoena power and will not be allowed to participate in criminal investigations, although officers can be terminated for not cooperating with investigations.

Columbus residents voted overwhelmingly last fall to create the new board to increase oversight of officers in the wake of police's response to last summer's Black Lives Matter protests. Shortly after Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther announced plans to put a measure creating the board on the November ballot, Fraternal Order of Police Capitol City Lodge No. 9 President Keith Farrell criticized the move, he said it was politically motivated.

The new union contract also states officers involved in shootings or deadly use of force must submit to drug and alcohol tests.