LMPD officers approve record pay raise; Metro Council to vote
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - After rejecting the first attempt at a new contract, LMPD officers and sergeants appear to have a deal, which now awaits Metro Council approval.
The new contract approved by officers and sergeants has the highest pay raise given to LMPD. The increase in pay is supposed to entice officers to stay on the police force, according to Metro Council President David James (D-6).
The heightened tension palpable in Louisville during the ‘summer of protests.’ This compounded with change in leadership, four chiefs in about a year span, scrutiny and lawsuits from the Breonna Taylor shooting, and not enough pay, all reasons for the mass exodus of LMPD officers.
”We have a huge crime problem, gun violence, the police department isn’t the only answer to that, but it’s a big part of it,” James said. “Stopping the bleeding is part one of that, part two is filling those 300 vacant slots.”
James is optimistic the contract will be approved.
According to the ratified salary schedule, a 9% raise will go to officers, which is about a $5000 increase.
Then, a 6% increase will hit in fiscal year 2023, which amounts to about $3000 more, both increases are at the starting officer rate.
However, for some community activists, it’s not just about the pay increase.
Shameka Parrish Wright, a Louisville mayoral candidate, said while leading the brigade on sparking conversation surrounding police reform, she wanted LMPD officers to get adequate pay, and fiscal dollars to go to community building plans.
Parrish-Wright said the officers and sergeants contract has some necessary adjustments; like alcohol and drug testing after an officer-involved incident and stronger disciplinary actions for officers. However, she said what’s missing is the plans involving officers in the community.
”Day to day interactions, none of us feel any safer,” Parrish-Wright said. “We do feel like the police can respond. There are community members telling me, ‘When call the police it takes for ever to come here, and when they come here I don’t get the best results.’ The police have a great deal of work to do. You start with transparency, accountability.”
James said that’s what makes this money more important than ever; especially when talking about staffing shortages, and keeping officers on the force.
”They’ve been so underpaid especially through this administration,” James said. “[Officers] can now be able to hold their heads higher and take care of their families.”
Backpay will be given to officers and sergeants based on when the fiscal year started in July.
Metro Council is expected to vote on this on December 16.
Below is the Collective Bargaining Agreement:
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