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FOP President Calls New Columbus Police Contract Step In Right Direction

 Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge #9 President Keith Farrell.
Michael Lee
Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge #9 President Keith Farrell.

The Fraternal Order of Police Tuesday morning commended the approval of its new contract that was passed by Columbus City Council Monday night.

City Council approved the new police contract which increased officers' pay and offered potential buyouts for up to 100 officers with at least 25 years of experience.

FOP Lodge 9 president Keith Farrell said the contract is only the first step in the right direction. He adds that while they will hold officers accountable when they're wrong, they will stand up for them publicly when they are in the right.

"But in the first step as well, this contract isn't going to solve the crime problem. It's not," he said. "That is going to take trust, and people supporting openly law enforcement."

Farrell said with the 100 officer buyouts, they are concerned in some ways when it comes to losing experienced officers. But he said he thinks the city understands their concerns.

"I think they have a plan in place to add more police officers, exactly how that rolls out is up to them," Farrell said. "But I do think everyone acknowledges we can't afford to lose many more police officers without a plan."

The contract also gave the recently approved civilian review board powers similar to, but not the same as a subpoena.

Michael Lee joined WOSU in 2021, but was previously an intern at the station in 2018. He is a graduate from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism where he obtained his master's degree, and an alumnus of Ohio State University. Michael has previously worked as an intern at the Columbus Dispatch and most recently, the Chicago Sun-Times.