PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Philadelphia police officers complained to city officials on Tuesday that their stations are plagued with faulty heating and cooling, leaking roofs, backed-up sewers and insect infestations.
"You name it, we got it," said John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, which filed a grievance with the city hoping to put the issue in the hands of an independent arbitrator who could order that repairs be done.
The police group, which acts as the contract-bargaining unit for the city's 6,600 officers, has paid for some repairs itself, he said.
Police stations suffer from heating and cooling problems, sewers that backup and roofs that leak, he said.
Some are so infested with bugs that the police organization has sent exterminators to the homes of officers because of fleas and bed bugs they took home with them, he said.
Everett Gillison, Philadelphia's deputy mayor for public safety, said the city has spent some $11 million to renovate police facilities since 2009 and is planning to spend another $10.6 million in the next year.
"That is not to say that there are not some pretty challenging environments that are out there," he said.
Gillison said the administration is trying to catch up with 30 years of maintenance issues in difficult economic times.
"This is nothing new," he said.
Reporting by Dave Warner; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Greg McCune