LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge #83 is calling for immediate changes to working conditions inside of the Fayette County Detention Center (FCDC).
The union recently issued a “no-confidence” vote in the department and is now inviting Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton into the conversation.
According to records, the FCDC is short more than 100 employees, including much-needed corrections officers.
Now Urban County council members have an urgent request for Gov. Andy Beshear to examine staffing levels at corrections facilities across the state.
Councilman David Kloiber told fellow members at a workshop session on April 26 that the staffing situation inside FCDC is at the crisis level.
He added, “Time is something when we think of the safety of our corrections officers, the public and our inmates, we don’t have a lot of.”
Attorney Scott Crosbie, who represents the lodge, also addressed the mayor and council at the meeting and detailed current workloads for employees.
Crosbie explained, “You cannot have these people day in day out working 3,4,5 days in a row of overtime many do not know they’re going to be hit with overtime until 4 in the afternoon or midnight when they’re expecting to go home. And if they do not work. They’re told you are going to be disciplined.”
FOP Lodge #83 said in a press conference Friday, that changes need to be made immediately before the detention center loses even more employees.
State FOP President Berl Perdue said, “If you’re not happy where you work, you’re not going to have a good job experience, you’re not going to have a job well done.”
Perdue said the call for change is not just about pay and long hours. He continued, “These employees and corrections officers they do not feel appreciated. They do not feel like they are being backed. They feel like they are not respected.”
Perdue and other law enforcement officers asked Gorton to have a discussion on how to improve conditions for both staff and inmates at the detention center. FOP hopes the call is answered sooner than later.
Perdue said, “When you got overworked employees, too many hours, not enough employees to take care of the inmate population. When you have those factors there, you cannot predict it but you’re looking at a possible catastrophe or critical incident.”
Gorton’s office said the mayor is working to improve the jail by hiring additional officers and since a new union contract was ratified in February has been able to hire 17 employees.