Frederick City Police Work ReMote (copy)

Frederick police officers will be able to receive hazard pay for working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Frederick police officers are now eligible for hazard pay for assignments that have exposed them to COVID-19.

The Board of Aldermen unanimously approved an agreement Thursday with the local Fraternal Order of Police lodge that extends the availability of hazard pay to the department’s sworn officers to match a resolution the city passed in August for other city employees.

The agreement with the FOP had to be passed separately because the city has a contract with the group that’s separate from other city employees.

The extra $2.50 an hour will be granted for hazardous duty or work that relates to the COVID-19 pandemic retroactive to July 1, Karen Paulson, the city’s director of human resources, told the aldermen.

The current agreement could end at a variety of times. It could either end on Dec. 20, or when Maryland’s state of emergency for the pandemic ends, or when federal CARES Act funding that is providing the money is depleted, or if Frederick County, which disperses the money, decides that hazard pay is an inappropriate dispersement, Paulson said.

The city’s staff is working with the police department to determine which hours for which officers are eligible for the extra payment, she said.

The city and county are in discussions on who is eligible, Mayor Michael O’Connor said.

Alderwoman Kelly Russell said any additional federal money in new versions of the CARES Act should come straight to municipalities, so they don’t have to rely on another entity to justify their requests.

Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter: @RMarshallFNP

Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at rmarshall@newspost.com.

(5) comments

mrnatural1

On a related note -- it is only fair that ALL 'front-line' workers -- store clerks; restaurant workers; health care workers -- receive hazard pay.

Few if any people would be willing to work a cash register at a grocery store during a deadly pandemic unless they desperately needed the money. It is unethical of companies to take advantage of their employees' financial need at a time like this. The fact is, they are contracting COVID-19 and dying at a very high rate.

All else equal (no axe murderers or saints) human life has the same value. There is nothing wrong with some jobs paying more than others, but everyone should receive equal hazardous duty pay.

bosco

Why hazard pay when the hazard can be mitigated through proper PPE? Failure to wear a mask is the hazard.

[ninja]

mrnatural1

bosco,

That's true to a point, but:

* A police officer or other first responder might have their mask or other PPE ripped off by a panicking or violent person. That same person might then cough on them or yell in their face.

* Even if a front-line worker -- a cashier for example -- does everything right, wears all applicable PPE and follows all precautions, there is no guarantee that all customers will do so. Employees wearing a mask primarily protect others.

* Even if everything goes as well as can be expected, it is still MUCH more hazardous to come into contact with dozens or hundreds of people every day than it is to stay home.

bosco

Good points all, MrNatural. Good points. [ninja]

MFGA

Mayor and Alderman failed the COF employees once again...You are so right Alderman Russell with your comments that the COF should have been proactive in securing CARE act funds for the COF employees instead of piggybacking on the county funds. Are the Mayor and Alderman negotiating for all employees of the COF with the county to justify compensation or just for the employees in the Police Dept? Step up Mayor for all employees you required to come to work as essential employees while you allowed others to stay at home and be compensated. They stood up for you and the rest of the city by working so others could stay at home and be protected and now its your turn to stand up and protect them.

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