Letter to the Editor: Former commissioner says Troup has created ‘unnecessary conflict’

Troup and Anders

Mike Troup, left, and Kerry Anders

As a former member of the Quincy Fire and Police Commission, I am writing to address Mayor Troup’s recent comments at the City Council meeting regarding our police department and the commission.

First, I would like to address his claims that the police department is short on police officers and that a new perspective may result in better hiring practices. It is true that the police department has been shorthanded and finding qualified police officers is a challenge faced by many municipalities. However, Mayor Troup has failed to work cooperatively with the commission and the police department to find solutions.

Instead, he has created unnecessary conflict with the Fire and Police Commission. He has never met with the commission to address this issue. Effective leadership would be working cooperatively with the police department and the commission and advocating for changes that would make Quincy a more attractive place for police officers to work.

Furthermore, the responsibility for collective bargaining with the police union rests squarely with Mayor Troup’s administration. The police union contract expired in May 2021. Police officers have been working without a contract since then. During this period, the members of the union would have received two wage increases, with a third anticipated in May this year. These increases would raise the starting salary for a new police officer to approximately $60,000. I believe an increase in the starting wage would be very helpful in attracting and retaining good officers.

Police Chief Adam Yates has suggested increasing the residency requirement area for police officers. Currently, a police officer must live in Adams County. Currently, 24 police officers live outside of the Quincy city limits. Opening the residency requirements to allow officers to live in Missouri and Brown County would increase the pool of candidates, allowing the commission to fill open positions faster and with experienced police officers. Instead of embracing this solution, the mayor has used it as a bargaining chip with the police union.

It is imperative for all parties to work together to address the current shortage of police officers. I know the commission stands ready to do its part to help solve this issue. The Fire and Police Commission always has been committed to finding solutions to the challenges facing our public safety departments and will continue to work cooperatively with fire and police departments and with city leadership to make Quincy a safer and more prosperous community.

Kerry Anders
Former Commissioner
Board of Fire and Police Commissioners

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