EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The City of El Paso along with the El Paso Municipal Police Officers’ Association completed negotiations for the Collective Bargaining Agreement. This agreement is set to focus on retaining current El Paso police officers and entice new recruits to join the force.

According to Victor Vela, First Vice President of El Paso Municipal Police Officers Association, there are currently 1109 officers in the police department and out of that number, 366 are eligible to retire. In the term of the agreement, this makes the job market more competitive for police to get new people through their doors and take care of their current staff.

“With this new contract it’s going to put us in the top two as far as pay and that’s going to entice people from other agencies not only to come to El Paso, we can recruit people who are already officers but recruit new officers and keep officers we already have.” said Vela.

City Manager Tommy Gonzalez made this agreement a priority and wanted to present a strong contract to the officer association. The city was able to agree to the terms after seeing that their financial house was in order.

The contract does include pension and rate stabilization funds in order to help with emergencies the department faces according to Gonzalez.

“I think it’s very important for them to know what the pay is for them to know that we value bringing officers at that level we also did a lot of changes for the existing officers the advanced officer got a 13% increase as well.” said Gonzalez.

Even though Gonzalez’s contract is coming to an end in June, he did want this agreement completed before the budgeting process.

“We would not have been able to put together an aggressive program like this for the police department or the fire department if we had not been financially solvent and we have really improved the financial condition of the city and that’s been the reason we’ve been able to respond.” said Gonzalez.

Both the city and the officer association are hoping with this agreement that they will continue to have a good relationship between the two. Vela knows that keeping the conversation open about the department will help them to move forward.

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