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Tallahassee City Commission okays contract with Police Benevolent Association

Police cars at night
zef art
Police cars at night

The Tallahassee City Commission approved a contract with the local chapter of the Police Benevolent Association at its regular meeting on Wednesday. Some of the commissioners had already clashed over the contract in press events before the meeting, and their positions didn’t change.

None of the commissioners disputed the salary raise for the police force. But Commissioners Jeremy Matlow and Jack Porter criticized the speed of the process. Porter called it “incredibly rushed.”

“For those here who are in support of law enforcement and want to see this through, I’m with you,” Porter said. “But it’s concerning to me when I get emails from our city attorney and from our city clerk saying that we haven’t had time to do a financial impact analysis on how this is going to impact our community long-term.”

The bone of contention was Article 8, the provision that gave Tallahassee Police Chief Lawrence Revell the discretion to retain an officer who tested positive for drugs last year. The new contract extends that discretion.

Mayor Pro Tem Dianne Williams-Cox said she thought Article 8 should be applicable to the city’s general workforce, and that she was ready to take a drug test.

“None of us are exempt from doing what we should be doing, and this is a drug-free, as we said, work environment, so let’s prove it,” said Williams-Cox. “I ask my colleagues to join me in this… City Manager, set it up. Me and my staff, we’re ready to do it. [City Manager Reese Goad: “There you go.”] Thank you.”

The contract passed 3-2, with Matlow and Porter voting against.

Follow @MargieMenzel

Margie Menzel covers local and state government for WFSU News. She has also worked at the News Service of Florida and Gannett News Service. She earned her B.A. in history at Vanderbilt University and her M.S. in journalism at Florida A&M University.