ATLANTIS, Fla. - After months of negotiations, JFK Medical Center and the Atlantis Police Department have reached an agreement to help keep you safe.
A contentious conversation over security played out inside Atlantis City Council Chambers Wednesday night over a new contract between Atlantis Police and JFK Medical Center.
“I’m in favor of reaching a contract, but not with a gun at my head,” said City Councilman Allan Kaulbach.
“We may not be happy with all the terms and we may not like what’s happened up to this point...I don’t see this as being a bad deal for the city,” said Vice Mayor Michael LaCoursiere.
The contract to have Atlantis officers standing guard inside the emergency room at JFK lapsed in June, and Chief Robert Mangold was forced to pull the officers from the ER. Four officers were in danger of losing their retirement and benefits without this deal.
The contract expired around the same time JFK removed metal detectors at the entrances to the hospital, which raised security concerns among doctors, nurses, and patients.
JFK has not commented on the changes, but it sent a memo to staff stating there is still 24/7 security, limited entrances and all visitors must stop and obtain a badge.
Chief Mangold says during negotiations, JFK denied a multi-year contract and only agreed to a one-year renewal. That didn’t sit well with Kaulbach.
“I am not in favor of this contract because I don’t think the city as a matter of precedent should be accepting something where you’re told take it or leave it,” Kaulbach said.
In the end, the motion passed 4-1.
“I’m glad my officers’ positions have been secured, and I’m glad my department is not going to be diminished in size,” Mangold told WPTV.
This contract is effective August 1, 2019, through July 31, 2020.