Aurora police union secures raise for cops

Some police officers could be smiling as they head to the Democratic National Convention next week, but not because they’re looking forward to controlling crowds, protecting the nation’s politicians or seeing Sen. Barack Obama speak.

Aurora police officers will get a 2 percent raise next year, as part of an agreement reached Friday between the Aurora Police Association and the city, according to an APA spokesman.

Aurora is sending more than 300 officers to Denver to assist with security during the DNC.

Officers who have put in 25 years on the force will also get an additional 16 days of vacation, said Don James, president of the APA.

“It’s better than what the city was offering. They were offering zero,” James said. He added that he thought the deal should have been reached during regular negotiations, rather than the arbitration it took to broker the agreement.

Aurora is facing a budget deficit of between $5 million and $15 million next year, according to city officials, because sales tax revenue, which largely funds Aurora’s day-to-day operations, has not kept pace with the increasing costs of running the city.