By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Steve McCarthy just got himself some job security.
For the first time in borough history, the Red Bank council entered into a contract with its police chief, locking up McCarthy for the next five years.
“It protects the individual. It protects the municipality, and it alleviates guesswork out of what you’re supposed to do,” Mayor Pasquale Menna said. “We want him to stay for five years. Or more.”
The council also endorsed an agreement good through 2013 with the union for the 38-member police force.
Under the contract with the Policeman’s Benevolent Association Local 39, officers will get 2-percent raises for each year of the contract, plus “significant” concessions were made by the PBA in the way of health care contributions and the capping of sick and leave pay, Menna said.
The contract is retroactive to the beginning of the year, when the last contract expired.
Under the terms, the department’s lowest rank, a new patrolman, would make $48,477 this year, and up to $50,436 by 2013. The highest rank within the department, captain, would make $112,111 in 2011, and up to $116,640 in 2013.
McCarthy, who officially took over as chief in 2010, now has the security of keeping his position through 2016. He’ll earn a base salary of $120,000, Menna said, with incremental increases of about 2-percent each year.
By state statute, police chiefs must be paid more than the highest-paid member of the department, and raises are dictated by state law, Menna said.
Throughout borough history, police chiefs’ pay and, essentially, employment with the borough was set by annual resolution.
“The terms are very, very good for Red Bank,” Menna said. “He’s had great training. He’s had great mentors. But I find it’s important he be protected like the other employees.”