A labor agreement is paving the way for the launch of a Central Bucks Regional Police Department on Jan. 1.

Police in the neighboring boroughs of Doylestown and New Britain are joining forces to create the new department.

On Monday, the Central Bucks Regional Police Commission approved a four-year labor agreement with the Doylestown Borough Police Association and the New Britain Borough Police Benevolent Association.

The contract includes salary increases averaging of just over three percent per year over four years.

The contract is the key component of the Central Bucks Regional Police
Department’s 2014 budget, which provides for a total of $131,435 in operating
cost savings to Doylestown ($98,206) and New Britain
($33,229), compared to their budgets if the boroughs' police departments had remained separate.

The agreement also calls for modifications to the health care plan, resulting in 7.91 percent premium savings and  for a first-time-ever officer contribution to health care premiums of one percent of the 2014 premium per year for the length of the contract.

A commission spokesman said the contact settlement is fair to  taxpayers of both boroughs as well as the officers in the new department.