Poughkeepsie council rejects PBA contract, highlighting need for reforms
The Poughkeepsie Common Council rejected a contract with the city's Police Benevolent Association in a 7-2 vote.
The 85 men and women of the city police department have now gone three weeks without a new contract.
"Obviously we're disappointed at the fact that it didn't pass. It's a little bit of a surprise,” says Chris Libolt, the vice president of the City of Poughkeepsie PBA.
The council is requesting a renegotiation with reforms, such as having more officers live within the city, civilian oversight for police complaints and a contract being three years instead of five.
In a statement, the council says a new contract should accomplish two items – “addresses the concerns of our community and ours regarding police reform while at the same time providing for a fair agreement for our officers.”
The PBA is not seeing it that way. Kevin Van Wagner, the PBA president, says it “feels like there’s no backing” of the city’s police officers.
Until an agreement is reached, PBA union members will continue on last year’s contract.
Sarah Salem, the Common Council chair, told News 12:
"I, personally, want to come to an agreement with the PBA, however, we needed to respond to the reforms our community members have been requesting and because they are needed."