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Suburban Boston Town Backpedals on Steep Police Official Raises

Methuen, Massachusetts, a modest town of 50,000 people near Boston, has backpedaled on a contract formula that would have paid police captains over $432,000, making them the highest-paid police officers in the states, and more than twice as pricey as Governor Charlie Baker’s paycheck, who makes a relatively modest $151,800 annually.

The unforeseen outlays prompted discussion of a possible $4 million loan from the state, but also outrage that city officials signed such a contract.

After the public outcry, those involved signed a “memorandum of understanding to lower the steep salary increases for ranking officers,” according to the Eagle Tribune.

A compromise would “see each captain earning $188,206 in average total pay. The average total pay for each lieutenant would be $158,377. And the average total pay for each sergeant would be $127,785 – a figure based now on 12 sergeants instead of 13 due to an officer's retirement at the end of June.”

Methuen’s circumstances are by no means unique, as indifferent financial management of many municipalities creates problems that are generally solved only by raising taxes.

Both the mayor and city police issued a joint statement: “Both the city and the association are aware of the strong desire of the city council and the people of Methuen to see a reasonable compromise on the issues raised in recent weeks. We agree that such a compromise is in everyone’s interests.”


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