The police union and City Hall are preparing for arbitration after attempts to reach an agreement to trim $5.1 million from the police budget failed. "Despite our best efforts, we have not been able to reach a consensus," said Scott Peterson, a spokesman for Mayor Sheila Dixon. The Fraternal Order of Police submitted a final offer this week, which city officials say does not meet the targeted cuts. But union President Robert Cherry disagreed, saying, "We've given them a number of offers that would not only meet the $5.1 million goal but exceed it." Both parties are planning to select a mediation board and begin a fact-finding process. The city must make $60 million in midyear cuts from its $2.3 billion budget because of state cuts and lower-than-anticipated tax revenue. The Fraternal Order of Police is the only city union with a contract that prohibits furlough days.
- Julie Scharper