Officer benefits complicate talks of Endicott PD merger

By Matt Porter

July 22, 2013 Updated Jul 23, 2013 at 9:20 AM EST

Endicott, NY (WBNG Binghamton) If the Endicott Police Department merged with the Broome County Sheriff's Office, would officers preserve their benefits and seniority?

That's the question village trustees tried to answer at the second meeting of Endicott's new group studying the merger.

According to the current proposal, Endicott deputies' sick time would reset to 10 days, which could be a big loss for many officers.

Endicott officers would stay in their current posts for the first year, but after that would apply for new jobs based on seniority.

Officers with experience built up in Endicott would not be able to include that in their seniority with the Broome County Sheriff's Office under the current proposal.

Deputy Mayor Dave Baker said the question of benefits must be examined carefully.

"Benefits is in there and that's going to be a big thing is how we do the benefits," Baker said, "That are attractive for people in the new organization and are still affordable. That's going to be a tough one."

The sheriff's office said their proposed contract was written to align with rules already set aside for civil service workers.

Another topic discussed was the current 24-hour operation of the Endicott police desk.

Broome County Sheriff's Capt. Frederick Akshar said the proposal would keep an officer at the desk only during normal business hours, and refer off-duty calls to dispatch.

"The salaries and benefits of a dispatcher are lower than that of a senior grade officer, so it's simple mathematics when it comes down to it," Akshar said.

The study group will examine whether the proposed contract by Broome County can save the village $200,000.

This was the study group's second meeting, the first open to the public.

The group has not established a time table for when it will complete it's final recommendations.

It's next meeting is next Tuesday, July 29.