The List: Other things that *might* be in the city FOP contract

And we’re stuck waiting on our social media-hyped pizza for months like suckers

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
High Street in the Short North

The city of Columbus announced on Thursday that it is ordering six police officers to answer questions about the potential criminal misconduct by other officers during the Black lives matter protests that took place Downtown beginning in May.

But the police union said that these officers do not have to comply, calling the city’s threat of insubordination charges empty in light of the current FOP contract with the city. 

From the Dispatch: “The city's contract with Fraternal Order of Police Capitol City Lodge No. 9 says that no member officer — regardless of whether they are the focus of the investigation or not — is required to give evidence if the investigation could result in criminal charges.”

It boggles the mind to consider the circumstances that led to this language being proposed and accepted, but here we are. With this in mind, though, we started to wonder what other provisions might be in the contract (which you might have read is currently in the process of being renegotiated).

Here’s some of what we found.

Unobstructed views at the Basement

With its worst-in-the-city sightlines, seeing (hearing?) a sold-out show at the Arena District venue can be a miserable experience. Unless of course you’re with FOP, whose contract stipulates any member be given priority position with free and clear sightlines no matter how jammed the space gets.

Unfettered access to the Wizard of Za

Maybe you’ve been lucky enough to try the pizzas currently being cooked up by Spencer Saylor, aka the Wizard of Za, a process that generally involves prepaying for an order months in advance. Not so the FOP, whose contract guarantees members unlimited, immediate access to this justifiably hyped delicacy.

Street-level parking on High Street in the Short North

While most people weave through the surrounding side streets (ignoring that there are plentiful nearby garage spaces), FOP members are able to park directly along the Short North’s main artery at all times, with no wait time or circling.

The ability to turn on all red lights

That No Turn On Red sign still applies to you though, peasant.

Forever tax abatements

While many of the city's tax abatements are given run dates of 10 to 15 years, FOP members are granted lifetime tax abatements, which can be transferred to a family member at the time of one's death, like season ticket packages among Green Bay Packer fans.

Direct access to I-70 east from Downtown

When the city opted to shut down the on ramp from Third Street to I-70 east, it left commuters heading east from Downtown with a range of less-appealing options, such as picking up I-670 east to I-71 south to I-70 east, which, sigh, OK. However, due to a provision within the FOP contract, the city was required to maintain a secret artery for the officers, who still have direct access to a hidden highway ramp. Good luck finding it without a badge, though.

The right to protest

You might think this right is enshrined in the Constitution for all of us, but actions taken by police nationwide in the summer of 2020 make the case that maybe it’s actually not? Unless of course you're with FOP. See, there might be wiggle room with some historical documents, but not with police union contracts.