Lower Southampton approves police contract, no action on public safety director

Lower Southampton Supervisors approved a five-year collective bargaining agreement between the township and the Lower Southampton Police Benevolent Association during its meeting last week.

The previous agreement expired on Dec. 31, and a memorandum of agreement for the new CBA was established for the police department on Jan. 1.

According to the terms of the agreement, there will be “across-the-board salary increases” at the beginning of each contract year —  a 3 percent raise this year followed by 3.25 percent at the start of each year until 2020, then a 3.5 percent raise in 2021.

The board also approved a raise for Lt. Ted Krimmel, who assumed the duties of public safety director after Robert Hoopes, who previously held the position, was fired following his indictment on charges of money laundering in December.

Township Manager John McMenamin pointed out that Krimmel is not a contractual member of the PBA, and recommended that he be given the same raises as the rest of the police department, plus one percent.

The board quickly put that recommendation to a motion and unanimously approved it.

Other items of the CBA include changes to medical coverage policy for police.

Officers will be required to make pre-tax contributions toward the cost of their healthcare premiums in the 24 pay periods each year starting at $12 per period in 2017 and 2018, moving to $14 by 2021.

Regarding Hoopes, a resident did approach the board and ask if there was consideration to bring in another public safety director or police chief.

“There hasn’t been any action on it yet,” said Solicitor Francis Dillon. “It will be an agenda item at some point in the future.”  

The same resident suggested having a citizens committee participate in the process or have candidates take a lie detector test.

“It’s your responsibility to do what’s best for the taxpayers,” he said.

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