News Release - Mayor Duffy’s Statement on Police Overtime Arbitration Ruling and Change in Special Events Policy

City of Rochester

News Release

(Tuesday, May 11, 2010) – A New York State Arbitrator has ruled that assigning on-duty police officers to cover events at the Blue Cross Arena and Frontier Field violates the police contract. The ruling mandates the City pay overtime for police to cover events at those two venues.

Chief David Moore assigned on-duty officers to those details due to the record numbers of police officers now employed by the City to save taxpayers the expense of overtime for such work. The Chief made those assignments with the firm belief he was in compliance with the collective bargaining agreement.

The median household income of our city is $29,000. Those households can ill afford to pay up to $65 an hour for street crossing and other security details at a sporting event.

The City vigorously disagrees with this ruling, but will respect the Arbitrator’s order and guidelines. In his ruling, the Arbitrator states:
• If the City elects to provide any uniformed officer overage for events at Frontier Field and sporting events at the Blue Cross Arena, the City is obligated to follow General Order #265’s negotiated agreement to use off-duty officers on an overtime basis assigned by the procedure provided for in General Order #265.

Since the order states “If the City elects to provide…..” the City will now opt not to provide such coverage in the future. The City has informed officials at both the Arena and at Frontier field of the decision. We have encouraged both organizations to seek alternate arrangements with a security company that may include off-duty police personnel.

While this plan relates to the Arena and to Frontier Field at this time, we will be taking steps to replicate this effort with other non-city sponsored festivals and events.

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News Media: For more information call Gary Walker at City Communications at 428-7405