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Update: City Commission votes to ratify police collective bargaining agreement

Posted at 7:39 PM, Mar 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-22 19:39:24-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) — The Tallahassee City Commission voted 3-2 to ratify the 2024 through 2026 Police Benevolent Association collective bargaining agreement.

Six people spoke during public comment during the meeting for and against the ratification of the agreement.
Reverend Dr. R.B. Holmes did not give public comment, but said he supports the agreement.

"I am gonna let the system make that final decision and they have. We believe we have good police officers and we will stand with them instead of against them," Holmes said. "And when they are wrong, the system will address that."

As Reverend R.B. Holmes stands with officers on the Tallahassee Police Department, questions linger from city leaders like Commissioner Jeremy Matlow over a decision to keep an officer on the force after testing positive for amphetamines last summer.

"I am not okay with moving forward with a contract that includes that language," Matlow said. "I think really the question tonight is going to be do we want to approve a contract that allows gest discretion for drug use with no real policy."

Matlow is referencing the collective bargaining agreement with the City of Tallahassee and the Police Benevolent Association representing officers.

Officials with the city said there is a provision in the agreement that allowed the chief to make the final decision on keeping that officer on the job after consulting with a medical review officer.

While there are calls for more community input into the agreement, Dr. Holmes said he trusts the chief to make the correct decisions.

"The system is in place to identify those who are not doing something right," Holmes said. "But the vast majority of police, law enforcement officers are good people, good citizens."

Although Holmes and Matlow are split over the the chief's role in disciplinary decisions, they're on the same side when it comes to the pay increases included in the agreement.

"I think there are some great things in this agreement that speak to compensation of our rank and file officers," Matlow said.

This agreement is set to start October 1 of this year and stay in effect until September 30, 2026.