‘This place is toxic’: FOP promises action for better conditions for LMDC officers, inmates

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 11:17 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Officers who work at the Louisville Department of Metro Corrections are speaking up, with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) worried that a jail staffing shortage has created a dangerous environment for the officers and the inmates.

The FOP held a summit on Tuesday to discuss possible solutions, discussing the dangerous conditions at LMDC including broken equipment, staff being outnumbered, and broken doors.

LMDC Correctional Officer Michelle Sogan explained how bad the conditions at the prison are.

“Lately, dealing with the department and the equipment has been harder than dealing with the inmates,” she said.

Sogan the pointed to the leadership at LMDC — or lack thereof.

“We get hounded by people who do not walk these halls, who do not work these floors, who sit in their comfy offices watching us and nit-picking everything we do wrong,” Sogan said. “This place is toxic.”

The detention center has lost 56 employees in 2021. Twenty-two people have been hired, but there are still 126 vacant jobs.

The FOP said a solution has to start at the top. The City of Louisville has offered double pay for officers to work overtime instead of time and a half. The FOP wants that money to go toward raises, which could bring in more recruits.

FOP spokesperson Tracy Dotson said $17 an hour in pay for corrections officers is inadequate, and if these conditions continue, taxpayers and the city will eventually pay more.

“Lawsuits, litigation, CRIPA violations, civil rights violations, hygiene and sanitation issues that result in lawsuits that are paid because it’s pretty obvious when those things are mismanaged,” Dotson explained.

The FOP promised quick action.

“We’re going to see movement from the FOP within the next couple of days for a push with leadership change,” Dotson said. “Because to be honest, if the jail is in the condition, it’s in and you’ve been here for a decade or more, then it’s your fault.”

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