Lexington police officers late Thursday ratified a four-year contract with the city that the mayor says reduces costs and protects public safety.
Mayor Jim Gray thanked police officers for their willingness to help the city cope with its tight budget. The mayor's office says the agreement, which will now be taken to the Urban County Council for review, includes an estimated $4.47 million in savings over the life of the contract.
A news release from Mayor Gray's office says the police agreement was supported by 75% of the officers who voted. The final vote was 287-71. The agreement covers more than 500 employees in the ranks of police officer and sergeant.
“Police officers … the rank and file who are on the streets every day, doing the job … again demonstrated their commitment to the safety of our citizens,” Gray said.
Gray said the new contract supports the administration’s work to bring financial responsibility to City Hall. “As we build a Great American City, we must find savings and efficiencies so we can continue to afford to invest in our strengths, including excellent public safety services, even when our budget is tight,” Gray said.
The city is hiring one new class of 25 police recruits. Mayor Gray's office says he has included two new classes in his proposed budget, now under consideration by the Urban County Council. The Mayor also included funds for two new classes of firefighters.
According to the mayor's office, the police union agreed to a 2-year wage freeze and other pay concessions. Police officers will see a pay increase in the third and fourth years of the contract. They've also agreed to reductions in vacation and holiday leave time for two years, reductions in clothing allowances, and restrictions on personal use of home-fleet vehicles.