An association of retired cops has warned Hamilton Township to not tamper with their retirement package. The association alleges it would be illegal to change the terms of their benefits “in the middle of the stream.” The Mercer County Local 12 of the Retired Police and Firemen’s Association sent the warning to the Hamilton Township Business Administrator John Ricci this week in a letter.

Ricci confirmed he received the letter a letter from Trenton attorney Sid Lehman, saying the association “objected” to the Township’s plan to change retirees’ prescription drug co-pays to match the co-pay terms of active employees. “Sid sent a letter saying you can’t do that because they are retirees and they are entitled to the same benefit they had when they retired,” Ricci said. “He gave me the case law, and I agreed with him, and that was the end of that.”

Thomas Murphy,a retired Trenton cop and president of the 400-member Local 12, said there is nothing “adversarial” about the issue. “We want to sit down and see if we can come to an agreement at the table. We have precedent on our side, and we won’t hesitate to use it.”

“They’re not a union, they have no right negotiate,” Ricci said, “but they do have certain rights to continue receiving the same benefits they had when they retired, and that’s what this is about.” 

Both Ricci and Murphy expressed optimism that the issue would be resolved without any legal action.