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New contract for Columbus Police Union passed, met with pushback

Those in power said this contract is geared toward making Columbus a safer place and holding law enforcement officers accountable.
Credit: WBNS

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The City of Columbus and the Fraternal Order of Police officially passed a new contract, although it was met with pushback.  

"This contract, even though it might be inevitable because the other choice is worse, is sending a message to residents like me who've been brutalized and having paid hospital bills because of CPD," said Lena Tenney.  

Tenney spoke at City Council against the three-year contract between the City and Columbus Police Union. The contract was approved at Council Monday evening.  

"The message to residents is that a 14% raise, a $200,000 buyout, and increased financial options are a reward for how the police have behaved within the last year and a half,” Tenney said.  

Tenney spoke of their own experience with police. A situation they said happened last year during the protest after the death of George Floyd.  

"This cane that I just brought up with me is not an accessory. I have to use it now because I have daily pain because CPD broke my knee while I was peacefully protesting,” Tenney said.  

Those in power said this contract is geared toward making Columbus a safer place and holding law enforcement officers accountable.  

"We have an opportunity to up or down strike down the contract or accept it. And if we strike it down, we are waiting that much longer for residents to have recourse,” Councilmember Elizabeth Brown said.  

The contract will also create Retirement Incentive Program which will allow 100 officers with at least 25 years of experience to retire early. The contract will increase the lookback feature on body-worn cameras to two minutes with audio, compared to one minute without audio previously.

"I will feel assured by those statements once council has taken additional meaningful lasting, policy change steps to ensure that beyond the fop contract,” Tenney said.