BALTIMORE — The President of the Fraternal Order of Police says city officials notified him on Thursday that Baltimore could lose $103 million in 2021 due to COVID-19.
In order to recover about $11 million and to save on spending, the FOP says the city is looking at either canceling pay raises, layoffs within the police department, furloughing employees.
The first option would freeze all officer salaries at fiscal year 2020 rates, and eliminate a 3% salary increase due July 1 of this year. The pay raise was negotiated between the FOP and city in 2018.
Option two would furlough officers for anywhere from 4-6 days, depending on their salary. In this case officers would be forced to work without pay for however many furlough days they receive.
The FOP says they were given a third option which would include 173 layoffs of full-time departmental employees, which could potentially affect civilian workers or officers in the Mounted, Marine, or Traffic Units, along with those on a leave of absence.
According to the Memorandum of Understanding between the city and police department, sworn officers need to be given 30 days advance notice of a layoff and be told how long it may last.
The MOU also reads that officer layoffs can't occur if unfilled, funded positions are budgeted and charged to the Department.
But in the case layoffs are made, recruits and probationary officers would gave to be the first chosen, followed by those ratings of "unsatisfactory" or "needs improvement" on their last three evaluation sheets.
The FOP says the department is already short 500 officers, and that layoffs could place citizens at a greater risk of becoming victims of violent crime.
Since the outbreak began, 19 members of the department have tested positive for COVID-19, while 350 others have been quarantined, with 63 still awaiting results.
Just recently the city agreed to pay first responders an additional $200 for working during the crisis. The FOP says any of these proposals would erase that and more.
Below is a full statement from Baltimore City FOP President, Mike Mancuso.