Tale of 2 Police Forces: While Irvine's Fumes, La Habra's Bites the Bullet

While their counterparts in “Safest City in America” Irvine fume over an employer-proposed wage freeze, officers who belong to the La Habra Police Association seem to have gladly accepted a deal that imposes what is essentially a 5 percent pay cut.

“Although difficult, we commend our members, and other city labor groups, for agreeing to tighten our collective belts in order to help the city through our national recession,” says La Habra association president Jim Tigner, in a statement released by the union this week. “The men and women of the La Habra Police Association have once again
demonstrated their commitment to our community by agreeing to this
unprecedented move with city officials.”

That unprecedented move
involves agreeing to furloughs totaling 104 unpaid hours and the
forfeiture of the ability to cash in on previously accrued vacation

The La Habra association's accord is part of an effort by the various city worker unions to
respond collectively to the nation, state and region's economic
downturn, according to Tigner. He vowed that members of his
association will continue to “lay our lives on the line” for La Habra
residents every police shift despite the 5 percent reduction.

“The association leadership
recognizes the sacrifices the men and women of the La Habra Police
Association have made to something that they see is much greater than
themselves,” Tigner said, “and how supremely honored I am to represent
their interests on behalf of the entire membership.”

Tigner's tone is the polar opposite of what's coming from the Irvine Police Association, whose president Shane Barrows accused Irvine City Council members–especially Mayor Sukhee Kang and council members Beth Krom and Larry Agran–of “playing political games” with
police officers'  contract.

and his membership, which staff the fifth highest paid police force in
the county, are upset that while the council boasts about Irvine being
flush with funds and among America's safest cities, its negotiators are
threatening layoffs
if the cops don't forgo raises. The association's contract expired on June 30, and with talks at an impasse, a mediator
has been brought in.

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