After a long negotiation process, Town Council unanimously approved an agreement with New Canaan's police union Feb. 22.

Town Council Chairman Dr. Mark DeWaele praised all those involved in the negotiations and also the work New Canaan's police force does protecting the town and its citizens.

"The sentiment by the council is certainly that we are incredibly lucky to have a police force that is at all times professional and does a tremendous job in protecting the town," DeWaele said. "The police department should know how much the Town Council and the town government as a whole appreciates what they do."

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The union previously agreed on terms for a new contract with the town in a 30-7 vote counted Feb. 6.

"It's been approved by the union," President Sgt. John Milligan said in early February. "We're satisfied with the contract and the agreement that has been reached."

First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said he restarted discussions with the union in a meeting with the leadership at the end of January. A large sticking point for the union was benefits for spouses, which the fire department received in its last contract.

"The last administration had allocated $50,000 for these contract negotiations and arbitration," Mallozzi said. "We had not gone anywhere in the past five or six months and we were looking at a lot more time and money spent in arbitration if it continued like that. So I decided to call in all the leadership to my office Monday morning of last week."

After calling them in, Mallozzi said he presented them the same tentative agreement they agreed to back in August of 2011 with the addition of the spousal benefit.

"We did a lot of research into the actuary cost and decided this was the best way to move things forward," Mallozzi said.

Town Human Resources Director Cheryl Jones and Jim Cole of the Police Commission were also at the meeting. Mallozzi also spoke with finance consultant Kathleen Corbet to make sure the numbers were in order. After the discussions were complete, Milligan brought the agreement to the entire union and news of the favorable vote came in Feb. 6. Milligan said the union is content with the current structure of the contract and is pleased to be moving forward.

"We look forward to putting the negotiations behind us and working with the town in the future," Milligan said.

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