Irwindale Police Union: Their side

Irwindale Police Officer and Union President John Fraijo could not be reached by press time when the story about the budget deficit in Irwindale ran over the weekend.

Police officers refused to forgo their 4 percent salary increase, as outlined in their contract that expires next year. the city asked all employees to forgo their cost of living adjustment this year in light of a projected deficit.

When I spoke to Fraijo today, here is what he had to say about the recent article, reaction and negotiations with the city and the 34-member police union:

“Unfortunately, the article has unfairly damaged the reputation of our members. The article makes it sound like we are the reason the city is in a deficit, when in fact our cost of living adjustment, the 4 percent, is only equally to $160,000, and the city’s proposed budget has a $1.6 million deficit built in it.

Our 4 percent is equal to $160,000, and the city’s proposed budget is $1.6 million — which is 10 percent.

We are not demanding a raise, we are only going forward with terms of 2 year contract that the city mutually agreed to only a year ago. The 4 percent cost of living adjustment was a concession on our part even after the last salary survey completed showed our salary ranking was eight of the ten local surveyed cities. Our members are not being greedy; we sat down with department administrators and city officials approximately three months ago, when they said the city’s projected deficit continued to rise to over $1 million because of mismanagement.

We sat down about three months ago when city’s deficit was projected to rise. At the time, they asked us to work with them, change the schedule, and agree to a change in our contract that would lower the amount of officers assigned to a shift.

This was not an agreement to cut back on overtime, and instead of the city acknowledging our contributions toward lower costs, they publicly stated that they could have imposed the changes even if we didn’t agree to it.

Although the city manager pointed out the cost of services are rising in the article, he also publicly, in front of council, advised the council against the change to Sheriff’s. I can assure you that my members are completely committed toward providing a quality service to both residents and members of our business community.

Obviously, the budget deficit was not created by one department in particular.”

  • Anonymous

    You Bozo’s don’t get it. Everyone is sacrificing except you. If a ship is sinking you don’t say well I’m only bailing in half a bucket of what for every 3 that must be bailed out so I’m not part of the problem.

    By the way, I wonder how much of your EXISTING compensation is RESPONSIBLE for the City’s budget deficit. I wonder how much overtime over base pay your guys are stealing that is also contributing to the deficit.

    Keep making up the B.S….I guess that’s what cops specialize in.

  • Anonymous

    I think the only “Bozo” is the one who has to “wonder” on everything instead of educating himself on the facts! If you had done so, you would know that the “other departments” did “defer” (not concede) their 4% COLA by opening up their contract prior to expiraation which resulted in a City savings of about $200,000 which is only postponed until next year. The IPOA also agreed to make a change in their contract, to elimate virtually all overtime, which resulted in a City savings of about $400,000, which seems to be more than “Half a bucket” even by uneducated standards.
    So now that we have addressed the “overtime” issue, what else do you want to blame the Citywide deficit on. You should also know that the Police Department is not the only department in which overtime could be abundant, you should also look into the other departments such as Public Works which are the highest paid in the valley. You should also educate yourself on the resident benefits that have contributed it’s share to the growing deficit. This deficit didn’t happen overnight and certainly not by one Department in the City, it’s time we start looking for viable solutions and stop trying to point blame. It seems those who actually work for a living (as in “all” employees) are being asked to concede first and those whose benefits come simply because of their address are unwilling to give. It’s a shame that residents that aren’t even willing to pay for trash or daycare are all for changing the integrety of the city they supposedly worked so hard to “incorporate” and stand on it’s own just as long as no one takes from their benefits they feel entitled to. We need to come together as a City and cut equally instead of being divided by finger pointing.

  • Concerned Irwindale Resident

    How about the IPOA give up their PARS and start paying 50% of the PERS retirement? Just a suggestion since it looks like I have to start paying more for my services for living in this mining community. Oh and one more thing… Why does the City of Irwindale have a City Manager and an Assistant City Manager? Why not eliminate the Assistant City Manager position and promote all Department heads as Deputy City Managers? Just another suggestion… Oh and another suggestion, never mind, appears GREED is kicking in over at Irwindale City Hall.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Concerned Resident, would you like wine with that cheese? The cost of living is going up for everyone. GET OVER IT.

  • Anonymous

    It’s easy for someone to say “why doesn’t the IPOA give up their PARS and start paying 50% of their PERS retirement benifits and for someone who didn’t go to work with the elevated risk of not returning home that day it would be just as easy. The truth is Police officers have to think out that kind of decision vigorously and the ramifications it could leave on their families. If that officer was killed, what would be left to their surviving families. I don’t think they have said that they were unwilling to do this, it was said that they wanted to wait until their contract(on which the City Manager urged to be 2 years) was up to decide. This benefit was addressed during negotiations last year and should have been budgeted for and now due to the mismanagement of the City we need to come down on those who along with this same City agreed to the terms of a contract. I am all for concessions and cutting but let’s be fair. Why is it the City Council has urged all of these concessions of benefits in which they agreed to originally, again mismanagement, and yet they are unwilling to join in the concession game! What are they willing to give up?

  • Anonymous

    Paleeeez. there are plenty of other jobs which a greater risk of death. Please spare us the “life of the line” diatribe. That should not become an excuse for taxpayers to pay any ridicuosly obscene salary demands you and your union advisors concoct.

  • Concerned Taxpayer / Local Resident

    To the commenter above………..I guess you are not a member of public safety, because you have no consideration for the amount of “Courtesy and Service” that our police department provides for the Irwindale Community. If you think that there are other jobs riskier than a Police Officer…..”Don’t call 911 when there is someone shooting up your neighborhood, peaking inside of your bedroom windows, stealing your property, or robbing you at gunpoint, etc.” Oh yeah……I forgot. “YOU WOULD BE THE FIRST TO CALL FOR THE POLICE AND WANT THEM THERE IN SECONDS TO HELP YOU OR SAVE A LIFE!!!” Thats what the members of the Irwindale Police Department commit too…..”Integrity and Service.” Also…Why don’t you do a little homework about salaries. There are tree cutters and office workers make about the same salary (some make more) than then employees who have to strap on a bullet proof vest everyday make! It’s public record, so RESEARCH THAT ONE!

    If the city administrators, council members, and residents think they will get the same level of service from the Sheriff’s Department…..You have another thing coming! Once the business owner’s find out that the City of Irwindale is going to be policed by the Sheriff’s, they will begin to leave one-by-one. Oh Yeah…..then how will the city pay their bills????? It will be a stopping ground for ALL THIEVES! The Sheriff’s Department will take the city’s money and ALL of the police department’s property (cars, motorcycles, guns, computers, equipment, gear, etc.) and run……….far-far-away. They might take 15 or 20 minutes to respond to YOUR EMERGENCY, if they even believe it is worth responding too.

    So readers need to think about that one!!!

  • REALITY CHECK

    I THINK EVERYONE NEEDS TO STOP FIGHTING AND LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE…………..IRWINDALE IS AN ELITE COMMUNITY WITH BIG BENEFITS TO LIVE HERE. LETS KEEP OUR POLICE DEPARTMENT AND KEEP THE SMALL PROBLEMS AWAY FROM THE MEDIA, WHO SEEM TO MAKE IT A BIGGER PROBLEM THAN IT SHOULD BE. THERE IS NO ROOM FOR FIGHTING! LET’S LOOK FORWARD AND APPRECIATE THOSE WHO PROTECT THE IRWINDALE COMMUNITY AND KEEP US SAFE.

    IF YOU LOOK AT ALL OF THE OTHER CITIES AROUND US. OUR BUDGET IS NOT TOO BAD. MAYBE THE CITY MANAGER CAN GIVE SOME OF HIS (+)$180,000.00 AND TAKE HOME CARE (PLUS MAINTENANCE) BACK TO THE CITY?

  • Concerned Irwindale Resident

    Hey Anonymous:

    I understand that the cost of living is rising Why not use a different approach and dip into your savings? Make some adjustments to your lifestyle. City is asking for employees to help out, therefore everyone should pitch in. As to your comment of GET OVER IT, did you see what happened to the city of El Monte Police Department? Sure would hate to see that happen in Irwindale.

  • Little Big man

    What a great idea, lets get rid of the Irwindale Police Dept. Who cares about their families, or the fact that they would lay their life down for me. Just think about the money we would save. We could even get free cable TV and just maybe the city will throw in HBO and Showtime. Wow I cant wait.

  • Anonymous

    How about everyone share in the sacrifice, including the police department. It’s this notion that certain groups should be excluded from sharing in the sacrifice that has alot of people up in arms. EVERYONE needs to do their part, including the police. Asking for a raise right now is simply in bad taste given the current state of affairs. The honorable thing to do would be to defer the raise for at least one fiscal year until the budget situation stabilizes. How does that hurt anyone unless you were arleady spending raise money that you hand’t yet earned.

  • Anonymous

    Wow…again someone posts a comment without doing their homework! You’re right, EVERYONE does need to do their share and when asked to contribute the Police Department did just that by opening their contract and interpreting their MOU in a way that eliminated overtime which, as stated before, resulted in a $411,000 savings to the city. The greatest of all contributions. The “other” Departments also when asked to contribute answered by deferring their 4% COLA which resulted in a city savings of less than half of that. So, is it really fair to say that the Police Department is not doing their share or is this just an easy way to lay blame instead of looking at the whole picture. Also, if you knew anything about budgets and deficit spending you would know that deferring an expense until the next fiscal year is a band-aid for this year that reveal an even bigger wound next year. next year you will no longer have normal operational expenses, but also all of the deferred expenses resulting in an even larger deficit spending issue.

    And yes, it is the notion that certain groups feel they should be excluded from sharing in the sacrafices…why haven’t we looked at ALL of them.

    We have a library with $3,000,000 sitting in an account for rebuilding.

    We have a Recreation Department full of free programs in which residents are unwilling to pay a nominal fee for.

    We have a prescription drug program that is used by most residents, even the ones that have health insurance. The City charges the resident $3 to $5 for medication and picks up the rest of the tab when in fact if they used their insurance instead they would still pay the same nominal fee but their insurance would pick up the remaining tab instead of the city.

    So yes let’s look at ALL Departments

  • Anonymous

    Im sorry, but the police departments overtime should have NEVER been so much. Yes the police deparment does provide most good service to the residents. but there is no need for that much overtime. If you keep a look out than you would see it takes 3 or more officers watching one officer give a driver a ticket.

  • To Irwindale Residents

    If the Irwindale officers aren’t willing to sacrifice their 4% raise for you, what makes you think they’ll give up their lives for you? Makes me wonder how safe you really are when the officers are blind with greed.

  • Anonymous

    How has the city’s Budget Deficit turned into one groups fault? If the Police Association concedes or defers their cost of living increase, this will save the City less than $200,000 over the next year, how does this resolve a $1.2 million deficit??
    I absolutely agree that it is not the time to go forth with such a request and it should be considered to help the budget crisis but in no way does this solve evertyhing. We need to come together as a city to find solutions from all sources including the police department. In no way did this crisis happen because of one group and in no way can it be fixed by one group. As a resident I am more than happy to do my part and I believe together we can solve our own problems.

  • Anonymous

    The problems may not be uniquely caused by the police department, but what the police department is basically saying with their raise request during an economic downturn is: WE DON’T CARE ABOUT BEING PART OF THE SOLUTION…WE JUST WANT TO GET OURS…SCREW THE REST OF YOU.

    The previous poster is correct. Does that sound like someone who would lay down anything for YOU?

  • Anonymous

    I think we should ALL be a bigger part of the solution! Dividing ourselves among groups, opinions, departments, ect. is not constructive.

  • IN MEMORY OF SLAIN POLICE OFFICERS FROM BUSINESS OWNER

    FROM AN ANGRY BUSINESS OWNER:
    ITS AMAZING THAT IRWINDALE RESIDENTS DON’T CARE ABOUT THEIR POLCE DEPARTMENT OR ANY OTHER POLICE OFFICERS/DEPUTIES IN GENERAL OR HUMAN LIFE TO SAY THE LEAST. ESPECIALLY SOME UNEDUCATED RESIDENTS LIKE LITTLE BIG MAN. HE SOUNDS LIKE A THUG GANGSTER AND ANYONE CAN TELL HE DIDN’T PASS THE THIRD GRADE BY THE WAY HE WRITES HIS BLOGS.

    JUST TO EDUCATE THE SMALL MINDED PEOPLE THERE ARE NUMEROUS POLICE OFFICERS KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY EVERY YEAR IN CALIFORNIA AND THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES. I AM GREATLY UPSET ABOUT SOME OF THE COMMENTS IN BLOGS, BECAUSE I ALSO HAVE FAMILY MEMBERS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS IN VARIOUS LOCAL CITIES. THIS UNEDUCATED ATITUDE HAS ME CONTEMPLATING MOVING MY BUSINESS FROM IRWINDALE. PLEASE READ THE FBI STATISTICS ON OFFICERS KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY. ITS ALL PUBLIC RECORDS. THESES GUYS STRAP ON A BULLETPROOF VEST EVERY DAY KNOWING THEY MIGHT NOT COME HOME TO THEIR FAMILES. PEOPLE SAID WHO CARES ABOUT THEIR FAMILES, THATS A SAD STATEMENT IN IT SELF AND FOR THE RESIDENTS OF IRWINDALE. IRWINDALE RESIDENTS PROBABLY DONT CARE ABOUT MILITARY PEOPLE EITHER OR ORPHANS TO MAKE A POINT.

    THE NEXT TIME YOU NEED HELP CALL LITTLE BIG MAN, BUT REMEMBER LITTLE BIG MAN MIGHT BE A CHILD MOLESTER OR A CRIMINAL HIMSELF OR JUST CALL YOUR COUNCIL MEMBER, HELL SAVE YOUR LIFE. THERES CRIMES IN IRWINDALE FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT LIVE IN YOUR LITTLE UTOPIA AROUND CITY HALL, JUST ASK MY FELLOW BUSINESS OWNERS. WE HAVE CONTACT WITH THE POLICE EVERY DAY.

    LETS NOT FORGET THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT-DEPUTY MARCH WAS KILLED IN THE QUIET LITTLE CITY OF IRWINDALE. ANYONE CAN GO SEE HIS MONUMENT, LOCATED ON LIVE OAK AVENUE IN IRWINDALE ALSO LETS NOT FORGET THAT A BALDWIN PARK POLICE OFFICER WAS SHOT AND ALMOST KILLED ON THE BALDWIN PARK/IRWINDALE CITY BORDER, BUT IF YOU READ THE LOCAL TRIBUNE OR WERE ABLE TO READ AT ALL, YOU WOULD KNOW THAT INFORMATION. AS A BUSINESS OWNER IN THE CITY FOR YEARS, I CANT REMEMBER THE LAST TIME A GENERAL CITY WORKER, GARDNER, OR COUNCIL MEMBER WAS KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY PROCTECTING, LIFE, PROPTERY, AND QUALITY OF LIFE FOR ITS RESIDENTS. I HOPE THE UNEDUCATED RESIDENTS CALL THE BUSINESS OWNERS BLUFF TO SEE IF THEY WOULD MOVE TO ANOTHER CITY, ITS ONLY TAX DOLLARS PEOPLE.

  • Anonymous

    So there you have. The Police Unions wants you to believe that if you don’t give them all the money they want it means you want them to die……NO PRESSURE!!!

    Don’t let the Police Union scare you into surrendering your WALLLET along with your COMMON SENSE.

    This is about shared sacrifice in the face of common challenges…not every man for himself.

    They want you to REACT and not THINK.

    This is about fiscal prudence.

    This is about living within one’s means.

  • Anonymous

    You just don’t get it. It’s not about pressuring someone into believing anything, what “Business Owner” is trying to help you see is that there is a bigger picture. Yes I think we all agree on the cocessions that need to be made but let’s support our Law Enforcement who do (at every level municipality or sheriff) unselfishly put their lives on the line for us everyday.
    We need to deal with our budget issues yes, but slandering Law Enforcement about decisions we seem to be only half educated on seem ridiculous!
    Yes, they should forego benefits for the betterment of the city but bullying people into believing they are the epitome of greed seems absurd!

  • Anonymous

    I agree EVERYONE should share in the sacrifice. It seems like the only one truly “bullying” anyone on this blog is the guy who can’t seem to shut off the All-Caps feature of his computer and who accuses anyone who disagrees with his support of a 4% pay increase as a gangster, a child molester or “uneducated.” MR TEA POT, ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE YOU TO MR. BLACK KETTLE.

    Bottom line: the fact that you think a 4% increase is not only inappropriate but in bad taste at a time like this does not make you unsupportive of law enforcement or the very idea of policing in general. We live in a world of limited resources and we need to allocate sacrifice across the board.

    I’m sorry that some would rather try to shout down this simple proposition rather than accept a little humilty and a little sacrifice.

  • Little big man

    I take it some of you didnt get it. I was being facetious; this is an example of what real greed does. Its human nature when someone gets something for nothing they always want more, especially when they dont have to work for it. Their minds are so clouded with greed they will do and say anything to get what they want. The only person they are kidding is themselves. They become — a little big man.

    P.S. you really should use your Police Department as a Scapegoat, its obvious your Citys budgetary problems go way beyond what you really know. Maybe you should have an independent study to show where your real problems are. You shouldnt be afraid of what you might find, speak out to your City officials and demand answers.

  • Anonymous

    So “Mr Little Big Man” it seems the same cautionary tale could be applied to the police. They are accustomed to having their salary and benefits demands met with little discussion or litte regard to the economic feasibility or prudence….yet still they want more.

    More in the face of economic crisis.

    More regardless of its impact on the city.

    Funny how this Police Union is intent on smearing the very citizens who cut their check. Just goes to show you that these guys do not see themselves as YOUR servants….Instead they see themselves as YOUR FEUDAL OVERLORDS whom you must pay monetary tribute too lest you stir their anger.

    I thought feudalism went out with the englightenment. Guess its made a come back.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe “Enlightenment” hasn’t reached your comprehension yet. As a resident,who as you put it “cuts their check”, I don’t feel “smeared” at all by the Police Union, nor do I rely on partial facts to make judgements. Maybe you should enlighten yourself on the facts and not rely on the “part” of the story laid out in this riculous article. And if you had done so you would know that the Police Union is not “demanding more”, they are simply living out the terms of a 2year contract entered into a year ago by the City and the Union members. And maybe if you had attended any Council Meetings or Budget Hearings or requested any transcripts of communication, you would also know that they, along with other Irwindale Employees have agreed to open up their contract and that negotiations are still going on to resolve budget issues.

    So you can continue to rant, slander and blame while the rest of us will work to find solutions!

  • Anonymous

    “….the Police Union is not “demanding more”, they are simply living out the terms of a 2year contract entered into a year ago by the City and the Union members.”

    “demand” vs “simply living out the terms”

    A rose by any other name, is still a request for MORE MONEY at a time when everyone else is trying to find ways to save money.

    Orwell would be proud.

  • CONCERNED TAXPAYER

    I THINK A MEMBER OF THE SAN GABRIEL TRIBUNE / STAFF WRITER SHOULD REQUEST THE PUBLIC INFORMATION REGARDING ALL OF THE SALARIES FOR ALL OF THE EMPLOYEES PAID BY THE CITY OF IRIWINDALE BUDGET. I ALSO THINK THE RESEARCHER SHOULD OUTLINE SEVERAL LOCAL CITIES AND SEE WHAT THE DIFFERENCE IN PAY IS BETWEEN POLICE OFFICERS AND CITY YARD WORKERS. THAT’S RIGHT!!! YOU WILL SEE HOW MUCH WE PAY OUR CITY YARD AND PUBLIC WORKS EMPLOYEES AND SUPERVISORS (A REAL EYE OPENER). THEN WE WILL SEE WHO IS BEING GREEDY AND NOT PLAYING ON THE SAME PAGE. IF I MADE THAT KIND OF MONEY, I WOULD SURELY DIFFER (REMEMBER THEY ARE NOT GIVING IT UP) MY 4% RAISE SO THE SPOTLIGHT IS NOT IN MY CORNER. YOU READERS WILL SEE WHO (YOUR NEIGHBORS) MAKE THE MOST AMOUNT OF MONEY TO DO OFFICE WORK AND CUT GRASS.

    SINCE THE POLICE DEPARTMENT WAS IN THE SPOTLIGHT OF A RECENT CITY COUNCIL MEETING, AND THERE WAS A REQUEST TO SEE WHAT IT WOULD COST TO CONTRACT WITH THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT, WHY WAS THERE NO MOTION TO SEE WHAT IT WOULD COST TO GET THE GRASS AND TREES CUT BY AN OUTSIDE CONTRACT BUSINESS AND ELIMINATE THOSE EMPLOYEES? OHHH YEAH, I FORGOT. THAT MAKES SENSE! I’M SURE IT WOULD BE CHEAPER AND WOULD HELP SAVE THE BUDGET!!!!

    AGAIN, THE IRWINDALE POLICE DEPARTMENT IS NOT DEMANDING A 4% RAISE. THEY ARE ONLY ASKING THE CITY TO FULLFILL THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE ASSOCIATION AND THE CITY MANAGER/COUNCIL, WHICH WAS VOTED AND PASSED LAST YEAR. I YET TO SEE IF ANYONE ELSE IS WILLING TO GIVE UP THIER CITY PAID MEDICAL BENEFITS OR PERKS (FREE CHILD CARE, FREE VISION PLAN, $3 PRESCRIPTION PLAN, $1 TRASH PICKUP, AND ALL OTHER SERVICES PROVIDED TO THE EXCLUSIVE IRWINDALE RESIDENTS). OHH WAIT. THAT WOULD MEAN YOU ARE ALSO BEING GREEDY HUH!

    ON A SEPARATE NOTE: I DON’T KNOW WHY THERE IS A NEED FOR AN ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER…….THE CITY MANAGER CAN’T EARN HIS 180,000.00 SALARY? I’M SURE THE COST FOR THOSE TWO EXCEEDS 1/4 OF THE CITY’S DEFICIT. OHH YEAH….IF THERE ARE NO HOUSES BEING BUILT OR SOLD, WHY DO WE NEED A HOUSING EMPLOYEE? THERE IS ANOTHER COST SAVING IDEA. WHEN YOU DO THE RESEARCH, YOU WILL SEE THERE ARE MANY MORE POSITIONS THAT MAKE NO SENSE!

  • Randy

    I read all these comments and can’t believe how selfish every side of this issue is in these difficult economic times. The answer is easy and just takes some political balls. Figure out what the city needs to be saved and reduce every city employee’s pay by X % to make up the short-fall. This includes the Mayor, City Council, City Manager, staff and yes, even the police. Either we are all in this together or we are doomed and divided as a city.

  • I know Chuck Crawford

    WOW…what a bucket full of BS. The cops in Irwindale are way overpaid (OVER $100,000 per year for most) for the little more than high-grade security they do. The only time they “put their life on the line” is when they poach crime outside the borders of Irwindale. And how about the police sergeant that made close to $200,000 last year in overtime!! Want to save a few million dollars a year? — Contract with the Sheriff’s department. And the city gardeners make about $35 to $50 per hour…yes, that’s over $80k per year for cutting grass and sleeping in trucks. Want to save another couple million? — contract gardening & maintenance out to people who know how to work hard for a living. And don’t get me started on the worthless, inbred, give-me-everything-for-free residents who have paid medical, dental, prescription plans, eye care, and tuition. Another million a year? — treat the residents like all the other residents in California…make them pay for all the junk they get for free!
    The whole city is overpaid, and should be introduced to reality.

  • Ih8allzionists

    i say we cut all benefits of every police officer in America,reduce their salaries and see how they like their job then. They aint serving us at all if anything they are against us. all the wrong people are in power today. 2pac spoke gr8 about how the system really works.