Metro Council approves police contract after 2 years of negotiation
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Metro Council has approved a new contract between the City of Louisville and the city’s local police union, the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP).
It was passed by the council Thursday night with a 16-10 vote.
While the majority of the council members were in support of the contract, others said police officers and the community deserves more.
Protesters took to downtown Louisville outside of Metro Hall as Thursday’s meeting was happening, urging Metro Council members to vote “no.”
“There’s no reason for us to pay brand new officers to come into this department $10,000 more than they’re already getting,” a protester said. “It’s those younger officers being thrown into the west end of Louisville, hostile situations, to murder people.”
The contract, which includes things like a $10,000-per-year raise for officers and sergeants, as well as better health benefits and the elimination of annual clothing and equipment allowances, is what some council members like David Yates feels is necessary to bring in and keep the best on the force.
“If we are scraping the bottom of the barrel, if we do not have a pay incentive enough to attract good, hardworking people, then we’re going to have problems,” Yates said.
Other council members like Keisha Dorsey said pay increases don’t change what they say is a broken system.
“It doesn’t change the morale, it doesn’t change the culture,” Dorsey explained. “In fact, what we’re really saying is, ‘Let’s bring more people into a culture that we know is a fragment.’”
Many council members against the contract said it lacks police reforms needed to hold officers accountable. Councilman Bill Hollander said the contract dismisses transparency between LMPD and the public.
“I am very disappointed that there have been really no efforts at all to change provisions in the contract for internal investigations and discipline,” Hollander said.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer will now decide whether or not to sign the legislation into law. Fischer issued the following statement regarding his intention to sign it:
The agreement is a placeholder and only lasts until next June until a new permanent Louisville Metro Police Department chief is chosen and an extensive review of the department is conducted. In January, negotiations for a long term contract will begin.
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