The Village of Oak Lawn and the Oak Lawn police officers’ union have agreed to a new three year contract that includes a residency requirement for new patrolmen and an incentive bonus for existing officers to live within the village limits.
The Village board approved the contract last night by a 5-1 vote after the officers, represented by the Metropolitan Alliance of Police Oak Lawn Chapter 309 approved it previously.
The union and village also agreed to a drug testing policy which includes “prohibited conduct” for all officers. One of those provisions, states “Oak Lawn Police Department employees shall not (1) report to work and/or remain on duty with an alcohol concentration of .04 or greater or exhibit such behavior or other evident manifestation of intoxication or impairment which raises in the mind of the employee’s supervisor a reasonable question of fitness for duty…”
The Better Government Association wrote a story in 2013 regarding the same type of provision in a contract approved by the Village of Westchester. The story, called “A license to swill”, can be found by clicking on the link below.
Westchester agreed to a provision that allowed officers to have an alcohol concentration of .0479 when reporting for duty. The article quoted various experts who stated that the provision was a bad idea.
Oak Lawn Trustee Robert Streit voted against the contract because of the policy provision that allows officers to report to work with any alcohol in their system. “In this day and age, it isn’t a good policy for the police officers or for the community,” said Streit.
The contract also includes a residency clause that states in part:
All employees hired after ratification must establish residency within the State of Illinois and within fifty (50) miles of village hall (9446 S. Raymond) within six (6) months of the date of completion of the probationary period.
The same clause provides a $6,500 incentive for any employee that does not live in the village currently but purchases a home and resides in the village during the contract period for at least three years.
The contract includes a “sick leave incentive” that provides a $1,000 payment to an officer that does not use any sick days during the calendar year. Officers receive a $500 payment if they use only one sick day.
The contract also calls for 18 officers per permanent shift but provides discretion to the police chief to increase the number on any given shift. The village also agreed that it would not hire any part-time, auxiliary, or volunteer officers during the contract period. The contract runs from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2018. All salary increases will be retroactive.