Erin Fischesser

Oxford police earn about $46,000 per year to start, while working to protect the streets of the city, compared to $34,000 to start in Monroe city.

While the Monroe Police Department (MPD) is currently in the process of negotiating a new contract concerning its officers’ paychecks, the Oxford Police Department (OPD) has already revamped officers’ pay.

According to OPD Sgt. Jim Squance, both departments are composed of members of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) so that officers negotiate contracts through the union.

According to its Web site, the FOP is the largest organization of sworn law enforcers in the world and work to improve working conditions and officer education.

According to Oxford Human Resources Director Donna Heck, OPD’s 26 full-time officers signed a new contract Jan. 1, even though they experienced delays while they reached an agreement.

The new contract will run until Dec. 31, 2010, Heck said.

Monroe is still working on its new contract, Lt. Frank Robinson of MPD said, and estimates of new salaries are still up in the air.

According to Monroeís administrative offices, the contract expired May 31 and the city of Monroe expects an agreement to be reached in the next 30 days.

Robinson said there is no definite amount of what the new agreement will look like but that so far all he heard were rumors.

Robinson said Oxfordís police force of 26 full-time officers is larger than that of Monroe, which is made up of 15 full-time officers.

According to Heck, OPD officers currently receive $46,749 a year upon starting, which increases to $54,999 after three years.

“Oxford is a desirable place to live,” Squance said. “We try to attract young police officers.”

Monroe officers under the old contract begin at $34,265 a year and progress in steps to a maximum of $46,633, according to Monroeís administrative offic es.

Heck said police contracts are solely based on negotiations.

“It’s all relative to what the sergeants and lieutenants make,” Heck said.

Heck also said that the negotiations are based upon comparisons with other cities. She said that Oxfordís police salaries are negotiated after comparisons are made with police departments in Hamilton, Fairfield Township, West Chester, Middletown and Trenton, as well as the Butler County Sheriff.

“We try to negotiate in the middle of the salary range in Butler County,” Squance said.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau statistics from July 2007, Oxford officers serve 22,210 residents, while Monroe officers serve 11,870 residents.