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A letter to the Citizens of Manteca from the Manteca Police Officers Association
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
This letter is to inform you of our position regarding the current budget issues between the City of Manteca and the Manteca Police Officers Association (MPOA). The MPOA represents the majority of sworn police officers within the Police Department.

In January 2009 the MPOA entered into an agreement with the city manager to furlough 3.8 percent of our gross wages for 18 months, freeze hiring and restrict overtime that eliminated undercover burglary patrols, vehicle theft stings and other proactive crime prevention operations. The agreement was made to avoid 4 police officer layoffs and equated to about $750,000 in city savings. This agreement was made with the understanding that no additional cuts would be sought until the end of the current contract.

In September 2009 the City Manager violated this agreement by making an additional demand. The additional all-or-nothing demand required MPOA members to take an additional pay cut of 14.6 percent or 16 to 18 Police Officers would be subject to layoff in October 2009.  Current staffing in the Police Department is already 6 Police Officers below the authorized 83 positions. The Police Department has never sustained the authorized 83 Police Officer level of staffing. Adding the 6 current vacancies with the additional 18 layoffs and the 7 upcoming retirements, the staffing shortage will rise to 31 Police Officers. Losing 31 police officers would drop staffing level to 52 Police Officers, over five times the average staffing level shortage of recent years.  The proposed layoffs will result in deep cuts to Patrol, Detectives, Narcotics, Traffic Enforcement, Gang Enforcement and School Resource Officers.  In the past 28 years there have been no lay offs of Manteca Police Officers.  

The MPOA voted to reject the demand. The MPOA’s position is the current contract was negotiated in good faith and the pay scale is below the median for the comparison cities. Many of the comparison cities are hiring Police Officers not firing them. The MPOA does not have input into the City of Manteca’s financial decisions and does not expect to suffer the total consequence of all budget problems, especially budget problems that were avoidable with adequate reserves.

The Citizens of Manteca do not deserve to have police services cut, especially given the fact the citizens passed the Measure “M” public safety tax to increase public safety. By voting for Measure “M” Manteca citizens sent a clear message that public safety is important to them.

The budget problem took years to develop.  Employee compensation is always a known budget figure and is not the reason for the current budget problem. The MPOA believes the City can ease out of the budget problem through attrition, early retirements, a hiring freeze and conservative financing.

The Police Officers that make up the MPOA are proud to serve the City of Manteca and will continue to serve as best we can.  Should the City of Manteca layoff Police Officers as they promised to do in October 2009, police services in Manteca will suffer greatly.   

It is important to remember criminals are not subject to furloughs.  Crime does not slow down just because the city manager decides to lay off police officers.  In fact, the state is proposing a mass release from state prisons across California.

The MPOA asks that all concerned Citizens call City Hall, attend city council meetings and voice your opposition to layoffs of police officers.
Manteca Police
Officers Association