The city has agreed to a two-year contract with its police union that will cut officers' starting salaries and some other benefits to save about $100,000 a year.
"Since the beginning of the bargaining process, we were aware of the financial problems the city is facing," said Det. Tom Rackleff, president of the Westminster Police Officers Assn.
"We feel we're making a contribution to the savings of the city," which will help the long-term stability of the Police Department, Rackleff said.
Under the agreement, current officers will not receive any salary increases until July 1996. The city's contribution to employees' health plans was reduced, along with vacation time, which was cut from 120 hours to 80 hours, for rookie officers.
The starting salaries for new employees will be cut by an average of 18%, officials said, but the employees will be able to reach current salary levels if they stay with the department for eight years.
The contract provides incentives for officers to retire early. Early retirement will provide some savings for the city and will allow for more new hires, officials said.
"It will bring new blood into the department quicker, and we think some of the veteran officers will be pleased with the arrangement," City Manager Bill Smith said.
The contract, which was approved unanimously by the City Council on Tuesday, was previously approved by 88% of about 105 voting union members, Rackleff said.