Future of Long Beach police uncertain after PBA rejects contract for funds

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The future of the Long Beach Police Department is uncertain after officers rejected a proposed contract from the city this week.

According to Police Benevolent Association President Brian Wells, the majority of PBA members rejected a contract to fund the Long Beach Police Department. 

In a statement to News 12, Wells said in part, "The PBA was prepared to offer significant cost saving concessions during these lengthy negotiations that have left us working without a contract for over 4 years. However, the membership felt this recommendation cut too deeply into almost every benefit of the collective bargaining agreement we currently work under.

As News 12 has reported, the 12-year contract included a 24% raise over 12 years, limits on payouts, vacation and sick time and required contributions to health insurance.

MORE: Long Beach police union votes against ratifying contract 

Police Commissioner Michael Tangney says he was not surprised at the vote.

“The fact that the PBA brought it back, there was a certain sense that there was a fairness to the deal that had the potential to pass, and of course both the council and the membership have to ratify it and, and that's what didn't occur last night,” says Tangney.

As News 12 has also reported, there are questions about whether the city can afford to keep funding the department.

If it can't, the Long Beach City Council says it might have to request that the Nassau County Police Department take over policing.

For now, the police commissioner says the 65 sworn officers who patrol the streets in Long Beach are operating under the terms and conditions of their 2015 contract. He says he hopes that they will be back at the bargaining table after the first of the year. 

A spokesperson for Nassau police had no comment when asked if the department would take over for Long Beach police.

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