TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Fraternal Order Of Police and the city of Topeka are in a deadlock over contract negotiations, the union announced Tuesday.
In a release, 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.
The Topeka Police Department is facing “an alarming staffing shortfall” with an unusually high number of resignations and retirements, according to the union.
“TPD’s current staffing levels often prevents officers from filling basic patrol territories and that should be a concern of the community. And it is very difficult to implement the recommendations of the SPCP when we cannot recruit, hire and retain good officers.”Matt Blassingame, Chief Union Steward for the FOP
The union and the city will now move toward mediation, the release said.
KSNT News reached out to the city and got the following response.
“The city has requested mediation and are eager to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.”Molly Hadfield, City of Topeka Media Relations Director