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Police And Mayor Young Reach Settlement

Police And Mayor Young Reach Settlement image
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A setllement appears to havo been re;iohed in ihe contrbversy surrotinding Deiroit pólice luyotTs. A proposa] which would tuvo each officer take 14 daysoff without pay during the nextyear could save enough money to prevent the rafeaso(r82S officers. Wliile the settlement should be adopted by the two pólice unions involved within the next week, underlying conflicts between thé predominantly wjiito pólice lotee and Mayor Coleman Yoúng's blackduminated administration are far from resolved. Although Detroit has an equaJ racial balance, the Pólice Department remanís about 82 percent white. While blacks and other minortties have increased theii rentation with Úk help of pressure t'rom Voung, white officers hold most upper leve! positions. The current controversy began wlien Youög announced tliè layofïs of a nunibei of city employees, induding 825 pólice officers, to balance the city budget. Young also stipulated the layofïs" would have to come trom the white pólice olïicers, as many of the blacks and women had been hired with federal funds thai were part üt an afíirmative action grant. U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Freeman upheld the decisitm. stating layoffs of fhöse hired with the federal fuiuls would perpetúate past discrimmatory practices. About 1000 white officers demonstrated outside Freeman's court, protesting tlie decisión which overruled contract stipulations of "last hired, first fired" layoffs by seniority. Despite the fact that the majority of btocks and women were recently hired, the white pólice officers with greater seniority would account for the majority of the layoffs. Racial tensions were high outside the courthouse, and a scuffle broke out berween a black offícer and severa! whites for control of a service revolver. Mayor Young had eadter proposed i dial payless days off and elíminaíion oí a j iour percent increase coritraeted for July ; I eould prevent layolís. but initially the ! poüce unions opposed this rule. Offícers ■ with senionty wcre unwilling to give up any pay. and insisted the contract eover ed the situatiun; tJiose with least seniority siiould be aid off if there was insuííicient nioney. With íhe court ruling which meant most j layoífs would come from white officers. i Che unions sot'fened tlieir stance, leading ; to the curren! agreement. in addition to the tourteen days off without pay, the ; pólice will be given seven I paid vacation days to ease the blow. No new pólice officers will be hired, and some cuts in equipmeii! pinchases will be made to save the same amount the layoffs would liave. All sides seem tcmporarily appeased by thc settfement. Pólice Commissiorier Philip rannian saíd thc only problems will be with scheduling. as there will be less officers to work with because of the added 2 1 days off,