NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) -- The mayor of New Bedford has prohibited firefighters and police officers from marching in parades in the city because it costs too much money.
The city has long paid police and firefighters compensatory time for marching in parades. But last year, Mayor Frederick M. Kalisz Jr. asked that they do so voluntarily.
Some did, but the firefighters' union filed a grievance saying that firefighters who march in parades should be paid comp time, and an arbitrator agreed.
Kalisz said it was costing the city $100,000 annually to pay comp time to police and firefighters marching in the four parades the city holds every year: Memorial Day, Veterans Day, the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament and Cape Verdean Recognition Day.
Monday's Memorial Day parade was the first without a police or firefighter presence.