ALEXANDRIA, VA- In a letter to Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson, Vice Mayor Elizabeth Bennett-Parker and City Council, the Alexandria Police IUPA (International Union of Police Associations) Chapters, which represent 250 sworn members of the department, formally request that more time be invested before Council vote regarding a new citizen review board and the ordinance on collective bargaining.
Regarding the collective bargaining issue, the letter calls into question the Council’s own instructions stating, “Last month, City Council instructed staff to continue conversations with the labor groups.. to investigate expanding the scope of bargaining as well as the potential to include public safety supervisors. Unfortunately, there has been no substantive progress on the topics most important to the labor groups, so we ask that you reject the updated proposal.”
Among the many reasons set out in the detailed letter, Chapter President Ben Saks and Supervisor’s Chapter President Marcus Downey, cite a significant lack of representation in the collective bargaining process, as well as a general lag in keeping pace with pay issues calling them “decades of inadequacies” resulting in “the salaries of police lieutenants and captains falling 10% behind their regional counterparts.”
The union stresses more due diligence is required before Council can make an educated and fair vote.
On the subject of an independent citizen review board, the letter shows statistics questioning the need for further independent review of Alexandria’s policing, which has a formal complaint rate of only .001%, and refers to the Alexandria Police Department’s “Gold Standard” rating from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, which was created in 1979 and serves as a national credentialing authority through the joint efforts of law enforcement’s major executive associations.
The whole letter can be accessed here: Police Union Feedback