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November 23, 2010

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My friends,

I warned many about the City Budget problems before; I agree we must stop the
wasteful spending. But not at the cost to public safety, our Police and Fire
departments must be staffed fully so that we can continue to keep our children
and community safe from those who seek to out and cause harm.

I will be standing side by side with Aurora's Men in Blue, My mothers companion
for 25 years and to whom I truly consider a father was a Chicago Police Beat
Officer in the 14th District.
I have been honored by the Chicago Police Department 23rd District for what
some have called heroic actions and efforts to save people lives as I came
across their path in their time of great need.

But I know that mine small actions are in no way can compare to these officers
who put their lives on the line every day for our protection.

Your Humble Friend,

Matt Harrington, Candidate for Aurora's Alderman at Large
BACK MATT in 2011

November 23, 2010

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Aurora cops plan protest

By Andre Salles Nov 23, 2010 8:50AM
AURORA — Just one week after a similar protest in Naperville, Aurora police
officers plan to march through downtown Tuesday afternoon, speaking out
against budget cuts and layoffs that may be coming down the pike.
Dave Schmidt, president of the Association of Professional Police Officers, which
represents Aurora’s rank and file officers, said the march will begin at 4 p.m. at
the old police station at 305 N. River St. Protesters will march through downtown,
ending up at City Hall at 44 E. Downer Place, in time for the 6 p.m. City Council
Schmidt plans to address the council at the meeting.
Schmidt expects members of other city unions to join in, and members of other
area police departments as well. Vince Clark, president of Naperville’s chapter of
the Fraternal Order of Police, said Naperville officers will be part of the march.
Aurora police joined in a 450-strong march through the streets of Naperville last
Tuesday, in the wake of layoffs of six sworn Naperville officers. The Naperville
City Council put off formalizing those layoffs until Dec. 7, seeking further
information on the state of the city’s budget.
Aurora is facing an $18 million deficit for next year, and has asked all employees
to give concessions equal to 10 percent of their salaries.
November 23, 2010
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Both police unions (APPO and the Aurora Sergeants Association, which
represents sergeants, lieutenants and commanders) have refused, and Aurora
leaders have warned that should concessions not be given, more than 20 street
officers could be laid off.
With more than 80 percent of the city’s general fund going to personnel costs,
city leaders say there is simply no other choice. But Schmidt has been vocal
about his belief that the city is overspending, and could cut elsewhere. He said
he is concerned that the ground the APD has made in the last few years, with
crime levels at a 30-year low, could be lost if officers are laid off.
As a case in point, he mentioned the stabbing death that occurred Sunday
afternoon in the 400 block of North River Street. Faith M. Martin, 25, was
charged Monday with first-degree murder in the death of her live-in boyfriend,
Willie J. Arrington, whom police found in their apartment shortly after 1:15 p.m.
Schmidt said approximately 15 officers responded to this incident, leaving only a
few behind to answer other calls. Had there been another incident at the same
time, he said, the department would have been stretched too thin.
Police Chief Greg Thomas confirmed that roughly 15 officers responded to
Sunday’s homicide, but would not discuss how many officers were left to take
Carie Anne Ergo, the city’s chief management officer, said APPO members
“have every right to attend the City Council meeting, but it does not change the
economic realities facing our city.” She pointed out that the city eliminated nearly
80 positions last year, when facing a similar budget crunch, and none of those
were police officers.
“Every other employee group has been open to concession discussions for
2011,” Ergo said. “It is disappointing that police officers and management (the
sergeants union) have flatly refused to work with the city on this issue.”
Schmidt said there have been no negotiations with the city regarding concessions in the
past week. The 2011 budget is expected before the end of the month.