(In an earlier version of this story we mistakenly inserted a quote from a 2015 story about FOP negotiations, this story has been corrected.)
TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Fraternal Order Of Police and the city of Topeka are in a deadlock over contract negotiations, the union announced Tuesday.
Monday the Fraternal Order Police released new information that mediation is scheduled for this Wednesday, July 14th, in hopes of reaching a final agreement.
“TPD staffing levels continue to be critical and our force is currently 27 officers short with more anticipated departures from the department,” said Charles Wilson President of FOP Lodge #3, “The recruiting and retention crisis in policing is affecting departments across the country and Topeka is no different.
Earlier the union said the two sides had started to meet in February and sessions were expected to end May 27. The union said it agreed to extend negotiations through June 9 at the city’s request, but issues couldn’t be resolved.
“From the time a police recruit is hired, it takes nearly a year before he or she can work on their own to patrol the city streets. This staffing crisis is likely to get much worse before it gets better,” said Wilson
According to the union the Topeka Police Department is facing “an alarming staffing shortfall” with an unusually high number of resignations and retirements.