12/16/2013

Ill. officers facing post-Christmas layoffs

Lyons has sent notices to 10 of its police officers that they will be laid off two days after Christmas

By Matthew Walberg
Chicago Tribune

LYONS, Ill. — Amid talks over a new contract, the village of Lyons has sent notices to 10 of its police officers that they will be laid off two days after Christmas.

The letters, sent earlier this month, targets about 40 percent of the department's police force, which has about two dozen officers, according to the union that represents them.

"They were notified that they were going to be laid off, but the union and the administration are working to come up with an agreement to avoid that," said Tamara Cummings, general counsel for the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council.

"This is probably the biggest layoff notice we've gotten in a while in terms of percentage of overall manpower."

Village Manager Thomas Sheahan, who formerly served as chief of the Oak Brook Police Department, said layoffs have been part of the discussion as both sides try to hammer out a new contract. The current contract expires Dec. 31, he said.

Sheahan would not comment on how many officers work for the department or whether any layoff notices were sent.

"We're in the middle of a contract negotiations with the police officers," he said. "It's progressing, and I don't think it'd be prudent on anyone's part to make a comment on anything."

Village of Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty could not be reached for comment.

In November, the Village Board voted to cut this year's $4.7 million police budget by $1 million for next year.

At the time, Getty said the cuts might result in layoffs of six officers and that the village might also close its dispatch center and hire a private contractor.

Copyright 2013 the Chicago Tribune


McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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