Groveport patrol officers and detectives are working under a new three-year contract that includes pay raises in each year.

The agreement ratified by the Fraternal Order of Police, Capital City Lodge No. 9 and approved by Groveport City Council July 23 includes pay raises of 3 percent in the first and second years and 3.25 percent in the third year.

"Basically, the contract was mostly about economics," Police Chief Ralph Portier said. "We've been at the bottom of all the cities for a while. It's a very, very fair contract. We have a bunch of happy campers."

The contract covers 17 of the department's 24 officers from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2021.

Negotiations with the Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, which represents the department's sergeants and lieutenants, are expected to begin later this year, Portier said. Police captains and the chief do not have union contracts.

A first-year officer is paid $27.39 per hour under the new contract, with the ability to earn $40.60 per hour after five years of service, Portier said.

Officers pay 9.3 percent of a benefits package, with a monthly premium of $816.50 for individuals and $2,582.03 for families, according to City Administrator Marsha Hall. The city pays the rest.

Hall described the contract as "fair to both parties."

"I think the neat thing about this is that sometimes there's not a very cooperative moment (in union negotiations)," Portier said. "This was totally non-adversarial, and we get the job done."

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