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Lexington council to vote on new police contract

A new contract between the city of Lexington and the Fraternal Order of Police passed its first hurdle to getting approval.
Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 5:53 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A new contract between the city of Lexington and the Fraternal Order of Police passed its first hurdle to getting approval.

The Lexington Fayette Urban County Council was presented with details of the deal, which includes pay raises for new hires, and bonuses.

Those pay increases are a big deal with this contract. City Attorney David Barberie told council he believes this will help with retention and recruitment.

Right now, the department is down roughly 90 officers. The contract raises the yearly pay for new officers from $41,000 to $47,000. That will also be retroactive to July 1 of this year.

The contract also significantly revises the step schedule. Then with a state supplement officers get after training and swearing in, new hires will really start out with more than $50,000 a year.

“We felt like we needed to do that in order to stay competitive with the surrounding communities. We think it’s a good spot for us to be in. We think overall, financially this is a very good contract for the city for the next four years when you compare it to some other jurisdictions that are similar in size to Lexington,” Barberie said.

“Ultimately, the FOP bargaining team had one goal in mind, recruitment and retention,” said Fraternal Order of Police Bluegrass Lodge 4 President Jeremy Russell. “Financially, this contract is currently appealing to both. Both sides wanted more or less in both financials and non-financials but that is why they call it collective bargaining. In the end, we reached an agreement that is good for the officers and good for the administration. More importantly, both sides will agree that this contract is good for the citizens of Lexington.”

During the presentation to council, Councilman David Kloiber asked about a lawsuit that is still pending litigation that was brought on by the FOP over the city’s no-knock warrant ban.

The city attorney said if the FOP won that case, it could mean the city could then have to bargain again with the group over no-knock warrants, even if the rest of the contract has already been approved.

The FOP says while a whole new agreement won’t need to be negotiated, the city would have to sit down and bargain changes because no-knocks would impact working conditions highlighted in the contract.

Council’s first vote on approving the contract is expected during Thursday evening’s regular meeting.

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