Mass retirement of Detroit police and firefighters in talk - FOX 32 News Chicago

Mass retirement of Detroit police and firefighters in talk

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DETROIT (WJBK) - Hundreds of Detroit police officers and firefighters say they plan to retire immediately if they are forced to take a greater wage cut.

Detroit's police and fire unions have made their feelings clear: the emergency manager is being disingenuous and not negotiating in good faith when it comes to their pensions. If a deal isn't reached soon steeper cuts could be a reality for those city employees.

Now, active members say a mass retirement could also be a reality.

Matt Gnatek, a Detroit police officer and a pension board member, tells FOX 2's Taryn Asher as many as 500 public safety members are ready to leave the job tomorrow. "Good luck finding someone to do this job for 14 dollars an hour," he says.

Jeff Pegg, President of Detroit Fire Fighters Association, says they want to reach a deal but they also want the city to realize what will happen if they don't reach a deal.

Gnatek isn't sure how many officers would remain. He says police agencies from around metro Detroit and as far away as Dallas, Texas, which is in town now, are recruiting officers practically daily.

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr's spokesperson, Bill Nowling, calls the talk of mass retirement a scare tactic. He says if a mass retirement does happen, a plan is in place and enough police will still patrol the city. Details of that plan were not given.

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