The Louisville Metro Council has approved a new short-term contract for Louisville Metro police officers, a decision that comes after much scrutiny from both sides of the issue.Weeks of back and forth discussions culminated in council members voting 16-10 to approve the contract for the Louisville Metro Police Department and the union that represents its officers.The final vote comes after the Labor and Economic Development Committee also gave the green light on the contract Monday. The committee voted 4-3 to approve a six month contract that includes pay increases for officers and some police reforms.Louisville Metro police officers have been working without a contract for nearly two and a half years. But not everyone was supportive of the proposal, especially as LMPD officers remain at the center of calls for reforms in the wake of the deadly Breonna Taylor raid.For those who supported the contract, it came down to supporting the LMPD by increasing pay for officers or risk losing more of them at a time when crime continues to plague the city.”I am a member of this community, a long time member of this community, and I am worried that if we don’t send some positive messages to LMPD, we’re going to end up losing more officers,” said Dennis Hanna.Skylar Graudick, a former LMPD officer, said the contract shouldn’t be viewed as a “tool used for political leverage.””This council needs to do its job and pass this contract, otherwise you aren’t going to have a police department,” Graudick said.But those against the contract said the reforms don’t go far enough to ensure police reform and that it contains language that allows officers to avoid accountability.Dissatisfaction with the contract comes as the LMPD has faced even more criticism over the recent handling of protests tied to Taylor’s shooting and those fighting against racial injustice.”The contract is a slap in the face of all of us fighting for change in the streets for the last 159 days,” said Travis Nagdy. “It is crucial we reject this contract because it protects the officers that brutalize, terrorize, profile, target and murder Black people and people of color.”The contract was negotiated by the mayor’s office and the River City Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #614, the union that represents the LMPD officers. The Metro Council was not involved in the discussion and several members of the committee echoed the concerns raised by the community.Councilwoman Donna Purvis, who voted against the contract, said she did not see an “assurance of justice” in the agreement.Council members Keisha Dorsey and Paula McCraney both said they would prefer the two sides go back to the negotiation table and include more measures that would ensure police accountability. Both voted no.Other committee members said they were concerned public safety could be impacted if the city does not address the pay issues and understaffing of the police department.LMPD interim police Chief Yvette Gentry, who recently took the helm of the police department, said she has already been working on reforms that many were concerned were not part of the contract.”I’m going to hold accountable the people that need to be held accountable, but I want to compensate the people who are out here trying,” Gentry said. “You all will have to tell me how do you recruit somebody to say ‘Come work here, put your life on the line, get shot, get sued, get all of the above for 33, $35,000 a year.'”The mayor’s office and the FOP have said they will begin negotiating a long-term contract in January. The short-term contract will go to Mayor Greg Fischer for his signature.

The Louisville Metro Council has approved a new short-term contract for Louisville Metro police officers, a decision that comes after much scrutiny from both sides of the issue.

Weeks of back and forth discussions culminated in council members voting 16-10 to approve the contract for the Louisville Metro Police Department and the union that represents its officers.

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The final vote comes after the Labor and Economic Development Committee also gave the green light on the contract Monday. The committee voted 4-3 to approve a six month contract that includes pay increases for officers and some police reforms.

Louisville Metro police officers have been working without a contract for nearly two and a half years. But not everyone was supportive of the proposal, especially as LMPD officers remain at the center of calls for reforms in the wake of the deadly Breonna Taylor raid.

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For those who supported the contract, it came down to supporting the LMPD by increasing pay for officers or risk losing more of them at a time when crime continues to plague the city.

“I am a member of this community, a long time member of this community, and I am worried that if we don’t send some positive messages to LMPD, we’re going to end up losing more officers,” said Dennis Hanna.

Skylar Graudick, a former LMPD officer, said the contract shouldn’t be viewed as a “tool used for political leverage.”

“This council needs to do its job and pass this contract, otherwise you aren’t going to have a police department,” Graudick said.

But those against the contract said the reforms don’t go far enough to ensure police reform and that it contains language that allows officers to avoid accountability.

Dissatisfaction with the contract comes as the LMPD has faced even more criticism over the recent handling of protests tied to Taylor’s shooting and those fighting against racial injustice.

“The contract is a slap in the face of all of us fighting for change in the streets for the last 159 days,” said Travis Nagdy. “It is crucial we reject this contract because it protects the officers that brutalize, terrorize, profile, target and murder Black people and people of color.”

The contract was negotiated by the mayor’s office and the River City Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #614, the union that represents the LMPD officers. The Metro Council was not involved in the discussion and several members of the committee echoed the concerns raised by the community.

Councilwoman Donna Purvis, who voted against the contract, said she did not see an “assurance of justice” in the agreement.

Council members Keisha Dorsey and Paula McCraney both said they would prefer the two sides go back to the negotiation table and include more measures that would ensure police accountability. Both voted no.

Other committee members said they were concerned public safety could be impacted if the city does not address the pay issues and understaffing of the police department.

LMPD interim police Chief Yvette Gentry, who recently took the helm of the police department, said she has already been working on reforms that many were concerned were not part of the contract.

“I’m going to hold accountable the people that need to be held accountable, but I want to compensate the people who are out here trying,” Gentry said. “You all will have to tell me how do you recruit somebody to say ‘Come work here, put your life on the line, get shot, get sued, get all of the above for 33, $35,000 a year.'”

The mayor’s office and the FOP have said they will begin negotiating a long-term contract in January. The short-term contract will go to Mayor Greg Fischer for his signature.

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