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The public attends the Athens City Council meeting in Athens City Hall on Monday, February 3, 2020.

City Council: Renewal of police contract discussed, Complete Streets policy adopted

Athens City Council discussed Monday night renewing a contract with the Athens City Fraternal Order of Police for another three years.

That contract would maintain much of the same language of the previous contract, Councilman Sam Crowl, D-3rd Ward, said. Wages would have a 2.25% increase in the first year of the contract, and there would be a wage reopener in the second and third year of the contract.

The contract would be valid from Jan. 1, 2021, through Dec. 31, 2023.

Councilman Jeff Risner, D-2nd Ward, asked Council to clear up the misconception that police officers records are purged or expunged after a certain period of time.

“There’s no truth that records are destroyed. That’s against public record law in the state of Ohio,” Athens Police Department Chief Tom Pyle said. “All disciplinary records are kept for the life of employees.”

Pyle also said records may be moved to an inactive file if there is no intervening discipline for an officer in a certain time frame. Those records can be given to the public if requested.

Council also passed an ordinance establishing the Complete Streets policy for the city of Athens. 

This policy encourages streets to become safer, more accessible and multi-modal. Crowl said the policy could potentially open Athens up to more grant opportunities in the future.

Council informed viewers there will be pop-up COVID-19 testing available Tuesday from noon to 4:00 p.m. at the Athens County Fairgrounds. Anyone ages 2 and up is eligible to be tested. Children ages 2 to 17 must be accompanied by a guardian. 

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