RUMFORD — The town manager for Rumford and Mexico presented selectmen Wednesday night with police pay rates, as the boards continued debating whether to combine departments. Members of the police unions also attended the meeting.

John Madigan said Mexico patrolmen are paid $17.51 an hour, while Rumford patrolmen are split into three classes: one paying $18.17 an hour, one paying $19.78 an hour and one paying $20.38 an hour.

The wage for a sergeant in Rumford is $21.90, Madigan said, and while the Mexico Police Department does not currently staff a sergeant, its lieutenant is paid $18.88 an hour.

Madigan said probationary officers in Rumford are paid $17.77, while in Mexico, an officer who has not graduated from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro is paid $16.51.

During previous meetings, some Mexico selectmen said if the departments merge they would not support a budget that involved using Rumford’s wages.

Officer Brad Gallant, representing the Rumford police union, said if Rumford and Mexico merged departments, they would be serving a combined population of 8,500.


“When you look at the state averages for patrolman and sergeant wages serving populations between 5,000 and 10,000, we’re below the state average,” Gallant said. “The state average for a patrolman is $21.31. The patrolmen in Rumford are paid $20.38. The state average for a sergeant is $24.50. A sergeant’s hourly wages in Rumford are $21.90.”

Gallant said that makes the wages of a patrolman in Rumford about 5 percent less than the state average, while the sergeant’s wages in Rumford are about 10 percent less than the state average.

Gallant said that over the past five years, the Rumford Police Association has had three years with no raise, one year with a 1.5 percent cut, and one year with a 2.5 percent raise.

“We’re not sitting here saying, ‘Hey, you need to pay us more money,’” Gallant said. “There are 13 union members in Rumford and Mexico. We all want to work together.”

Mexico Selectman Albert Aniel suggested that the town reduce the proposed $1.45 million consolidated police budget to $1.2 million, and if it’s approved, each town could figure out how to cut the money.

Gallant said if the Rumford and Mexico boards were to take the police chief’s proposal of a $1.45 million consolidated police budget and reduce it to $1.2 million on the backs of the union, it would be “unrealistic,” since it would equate to an $8.50 pay cut.  


Aniel and Rumford Selectman Mark Belanger said at previous meetings that they were concerned about the Rumford Police Department’s large overtime budget.

Rumford Police Department’s overtime budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year was $88,900.

Mexico police Chief Roy Hodsdon said it was difficult to assess Mexico’s exact overtime budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year because the overtime wages were folded into the Police Department budget and were not a separate line item.

However, Hodsdon estimated that the overall overtime budget was “about $40,000.”

Selectmen from both towns agreed to meet in executive session at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 2, to discuss the police contracts and ways to save money. The session will be held at the Rumford Municipal Building conference room.

Two selectmen from each town will set up a meeting with the Rumford and Mexico police unions to discuss their ideas at a date to be announced.

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