Lexington police officers have won their fight in a cruiser controversy, at least for now. There had been indication the policy would change where off-duty officers would only be able to drive the cars to and from home, and not for any other uses. But, the mayor delayed those plans.
"We understand the cost of the cruisers, but at the same time, it's a safety issue. It's a safety issue for the public and it's a safety issue for our officers," explained Fraternal Order of Police President, Mike Sweeney.
Sweeney says off duty officers respond to more than 5,000 calls a year and estimates two of every three cars seen on the road are driven by officers off the clock. He says they're obligated to stay armed, keep their radios on and respond to calls.
"I got an email from an off duty officer who responded to a call at 3:15 on the morning. An Alzheimer's patient was driving aimlessly and was lost. He's the one who found her and took her home to her family safely," Sweeney said.
But Mayor Gray says the bottom line is a million dollars is too much to ignore. That's why he says he'll take the issue to collective bargaining.
"I have enormous respect for everyone who is in our public safety; because they're out there every day on the front line. So it's tough to take a step like this knowing it's not going to be received well," Gray said.