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Thornton city council unanimously approved over $1 million in wage and benefit increases for the police department through their consent calendar on July 25. 

There was no discussion on the item, and no council member asked for the item to be removed from the calendar. 

“The PD Union wage increase was discussed with council during negotiations so they were already familiar,” City Spokesperson Todd Barnes said.

It comes from the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the City and the Fraternal Order of Police Thornton Lodge 16. 

“There were a number of changes incorporated into the proposed CBA that include, but are not limited to, longevity pay; increased vacation accrual consistent with the City’s non-Union employees; enhanced Retiree Health Insurance benefit; and creation of specialty pay in certain circumstances,” the agenda reads. 

It results in approximately $1,109,191 net increase in wages and fringe benefits in 2024. 

In 2023, the police budget for the city is $49,924,060, which is the most money for any department in the General Fund, according to city documents. The second highest is for Parks and Recreation, which is $29,822,047. 

The agenda says representatives of the City and the police union met a total of four times between March 30, 2023 and May 11, 2023. 

Endorsing candidates

The move also comes as the police union announced 2023 election candidate endorsements early this year. 

Mayor Jan Kulmann’s announced in February that the police union endorsed on her reelection Facebook campaign page. City Councilor Eric Garcia also was endorsed by the union and announced it on Facebook the same day. 

City Councilor David Acunto also received the endorsement but was not present for the vote. Nicole Matkowsky, who is married to term-limted City Councilor Adam Matkowsky and seeking his seat on the council. 

The union endorsements come before the November City Council ballot has been set and even prior to the petition to run for council deadline, which is Aug. 28.

 Fraternal Order of Police Thornton Lodge 16 President Levi Husk did not respond to voicemails with requests to interview.