Naugatuck officials praised Police Chief Christpher Edson for running a professional department and leading it with dignity before approving a four-year contract extension with the chief that gives him annual salary increases ranging from $9,829 to $16,191 over that span.
"This is a little more than we would like to pay, but probably not as much as he deserves," Mayor Bob Mezzo said before the Board of Mayor and Burgesses approved the contract 9-0 Thursday night at a special borough board meeting at Town Hall.
The chief, whose base salary is $94,171, will earn $104,000 next year and the pay will steadily increase every year until 2015, when he will earn $110,365. Some high-ranking officers have made more than that in the past with overtime and private duty, which Edson is not eligible for. Naugatuck officials said Edson still does not make as much as many police chiefs in the state; they also noted that in his four years in Naugatuck, Edson saved his department hundreds of thousands in police overtime on an annual basis.
Edson, a former captain in the Milford Police Department from which he retired, was hired by the borough in 2007 in between the transition of the Ron San Angelo and Mike Bronko mayoral administrations (both San Angelo and Bronko are now burgesses). San Angelo, who had often expressed frustration with some of the leadership at the police department under former Chief Ned Clisham, negotiated a retirement deal with Clisham and worked with the police commission on a multi-state search for a new chief.
Although the police commission originally had its sights set on another candidate who turned down the borough's offer, San Angelo said he believes Naugatuck came out on the winning end of the deal.
"At one time, people didn't have the faith in the police department that they do now," San Angelo said.
Edson, a Milford resident, said Thursday that he's pleased he can "continue to serve as the borough's police chief."
"I believe that in the time I've been here, the department has moved in a positive direction and it has a bright future," he said Thursday night. "I'm proud to be a part of that bright future."
Under terms of the new contract, Edson will receive the following" (See the full contract attached to this article as a PDF)
- Effective July, 1, 2012: $104,000.00
- Effective July, 1, 2013: $106,080.00
- Effective July, 1, 2014: $108,201.60
- Effective July, 1, 2015: $110,365.63
- Twenty (20) days of paid vacation on an annual basis. Such vacation days shall not be cumulative. Upon the written approval of the Mayor, Edson may carry over up to five (5) vacation days to the next fiscal year.
- Fifteen (15) sick days annually, cumulative to ninety (90) days.
- Term Life Insurance equal to two times (2x) Edson’s annual base salary, adjusted annually in accordance with Edson’s salary as set forth in Exhibit B.
- Health and dental benefit plans and premium share contributions in accordance with the applicable year of the collective bargaining agreement between the BOROUGH and AFCME, Council 15, AFL-CIO, Local 1126.
- A suitable vehicle for Edson’s exclusive and unrestricted business and personal use at all times during the term of this AGREEMENT. The BOROUGH agrees to insure the vehicle for appropriate levels of automotive liability, property damage and comprehensive insurance coverage on said vehicle, as well as, provide maintenance and repair of said vehicle. All out of state vehicle umust be related to the official duties of the Chief of Police and Edson must receive the prior written approval of the Mayor at the Mayor’s sole discretion.
- Equipment and uniforms deemed necessary by the BOROUGH and replace them when they are no longer serviceable.
- Reimbursement for the reasonable expenses associated with Edson’s continued training, and professional development, as determined by the BOROUGH. Such costs to include the reasonable fees for annual conferences and other such courses of study as well as, travel and subsistence expenses incurred in connection therewith. Attendance at such conferences and/or courses as well as the amount to be provided to Edson for travel and/or subsistence shall be determined by the BOROUGH.
- Appropriate payment for professional dues and subscriptions for Edson necessary for the full and continued participation in National, Regional, State and Local associations and organizations necessary and desirable for his continued professional growth and advancement and for the good of the BOROUGH. The amount of the aggregate total to be paid for such associations and/or organizations shall be determined by the BOROUGH.
- Thirteen (13) paid holidays as recognized by the Borough for all other BOROUGH non-union personnel.
- Participation in the BOROUGH’s Police pension plan.
- At retirement or death, Edson shall be paid for all unused sick days not to exceed ninety (90) days.
- Such other benefits as may be provided under the BOROUGH’s Personnel Guidelines at the time of the execution of this Agreement. In the event that any provision of this Agreement conflicts with or contradicts said Personnel Guidelines, this Agreement shall govern.