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LMDC officers raise concern of safety within facility due to staffing issues

Published: Sep. 12, 2021 at 5:53 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 12, 2021 at 6:36 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Broken intercom systems, elevators and a lack of protective equipment are just some of the reasons corrections officers in LMDC say they feel unsafe.

“It’s awful in there,” Corrections officer Sgt. Daniel Johnson said. “I have been there 17 years and it’s the worst I have ever seen it.”

Johnson not only works for LMDC he is also the President of Louisville Corrections Fraternal Order of Police. He said the current state of the department is alarming.

“Public safety affects everyone,” Johnson said. “If you live in this county if you work in the county, it affects.”

Along with not having adequate resources for the job, he said the city’s recruiting efforts are minimal. The FOP had to put up cash to try and help bring in more staff.

“The lodge, in the last month and half, has spent $1000 in paid advertising, advertising our jobs trying to get the word out because the department is not doing it,” Johnson said.

Starting pay for a corrections officer is $17, which Johnson said is low.

There are currently 459 budgeted positions. Right now, 336 of those positions are filled, meaning that there are 123 positions still unstaffed.

Johnson said inmates have also become more aggressive, as they too have noticed a lack in staffing.

He added at times, there is no one in the control room, a post used to monitor surveillance video.

“We are seriously like on the edge of doing what we can to bring in the National Guard,” Johnson said. “Or someone else to assist us.”

Johnson added they have taken these the concerns to city leaders including Mayor Greg Fischer’s office.

LMDC Assistant Director Steve Durham provided a statement to WAVE 3 News on the staffing issues:

We, like the rest of the nation are facing staffing shortages. We have created new recruitment and retention plans.

Metro Corrections has just launched pilots with financial incentives for recruitment and retention. Those pilot plans, while brand new, are making a difference now and we expect applications increase in the coming months.

You can find more about these incentives and make an application at Louisvilleky.gov/corrections and other links at Louisville Metro Corrections Facebook and Instagram.

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