TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Fraternal Order Of Police and the city of Topeka remain in a deadlock over contract negotiations, the union announced early last week.
Topeka City manager Brent Trout appeared on KSNT Monday morning and talked about negotiations.
The union and the city will now move toward mediation, a press release from the police union said.
“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
“We have a few issues we need to work through,” Trout said.
Trout did say the contract negotiations will have an effect on the naming of a new police chief. Topeka had named Deputy Chief Bryan Wheeles as Interim Police Chief for the city after Bill Cochran retired in January of 2021.
“The contract negotiations will have an impact on naming a new chief,” Trout said.
Trout confirmed Topeka did have staffing problems inside the police department, and retirements played a part in that.
“We are concerned,” Trout said. We need to do our best to hire new officers, we continue to work on that.”