The Lawrence Patrolmen’s Association, Local 125 of the New England Police Benevolent Association would like to announce the settlement of our contract for years 2022- 2025 with the City of Lawrence and Mayor Brian A. DePeńa.
This is not just one contract but a culmination over the past 15 years of terrible wages. The Lawrence Patrolmen’s Association has been through some tough times since 2009. We lost our education incentive due to budget cuts made under Governor Deval Patrick. Since then we also suffered losing 25 police officers due to layoffs in 2010 and 20 others retired at that time because they lost their education incentive. It took approximately 10 years to build up to our normal staffing numbers.
Over the past 15 years, the LPA has taken four, zero percent cost of living increases, which put us far behind our counterparts in other communities. Our total compensation averaged just under 1.5 percent each year since 2010. Lawrence Police Officer responded to 60, 999 calls for service in 2023, which is comparable to major cities. The City of Lawrence has hired 81 new police officers since 2019. The Lawrence Police Department has lost 24 officers because of stagnant wages since that time. The reduction of manpower has caused forced shifts and reduced staffing levels. Lawrence has been one of the only metro police departments in Massachusetts without compensation for having a college education. The Massachusetts State Police and other surrounding communities have benefited by hiring police officers who were trained by the City of Lawrence at massive expense to taxpayers.
Today, that has all changed. Today is a historic day for the City of Lawrence and the Lawrence Patrolmen’s Association. We have been able to ratify a contract with Mayor DePeńa, Chief William Castro, our Executive Board and other city officials. The Mayor has given us back our education incentive which will benefit our new officers and set the Lawrence Police Department on a strong course to prosperity. Our new cost of living adjustments will also make Lawrence Police an attractive department for young men and women to begin a career in Law Enforcement. Mayor DePeńa faced many challenges when we first came to the negotiating table approximately 2 years ago. He had to remedy fifteen years of stagnant wages and benefits to attempt to retain younger officers in the department. This new financial package will allow the younger officers to follow their dreams of service to the community and lay down their roots for generations to come. The Lawrence Patrolmen’s Association looks forward to moving forward and protecting and serving the City of Lawrence as we have always done.