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Community calls for transparency ahead of police union bargaining agreement vote

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Posted at 7:16 PM, Mar 20, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) — A Tallahassee Police Department officer keeping his job after a positive drug test is part of what brought about a dozen community and faith leaders together to the Time Savers Convenient Store Monday morning.

Some are calling for more transparency when it comes to decisions that are made in the department ahead of the commission meeting Wednesday.

On the agenda, the city commission is set to ratify the Police Benevolent Association's collective bargaining agreement for 2024 through 2026.

The collective bargaining agreement from 2021 to 2023 allowed the officer, whose sample tested positive for amphetamines last June and again last July, to keep his job.

Other city employees have been fired for positive drug tests.

Under the current collective bargaining agreement with the Big Bend Police Benevolent Association, the city says the chief gets final say on those decisions.

Mayor John Dailey stood in support of Chief Revell's decision to keep that officer on.

"I am here to tell you that everyone that has contacted me in the mayor's office has been very pleased and supportive of the chief of police and TPD and the amazing men and women that work there," Dailey said.

While Dailey said commissioners voted on the previous agreement without question, Commissioner Jeremy Matlow says that won't happen again.

"Do we want to give one man the discretion to allow unchecked drug abuse within the Tallahassee police department," Matlow said. "I for one do not and I appreciate the community for standing with me."

Matlow said encourages people to come out to Wednesday's meeting to make their voice heard and commissioners prepare to vote on this agreement.

If approved, the agreement would be in place from 2024 until 2026.

Editor's Note: The story was updated to note that the officer's sample was tested in June 2022 and again in July 2022.