Lawmakers advance bill allowing LMPD officers to work 12-hour shifts
The bill has support of both the police chief and the FOP.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Lawmakers advanced a bill designed to enhance police work in Louisville.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Donahue (D-Louisville), allows LMPD officers to work 12-hour shifts without costing taxpayers $1 million in overtime. It would mean longer days for police officers, but also more time off between shifts.
Both LMPD Chief Steve Conrad and the rank-and-file support the switch -- but unless the General Assembly changes the police overtime law, the move would break the LMPD budget.
Conrad told lawmakers during a hearing in the House Local Government Committee that 12-hour shifts would not result in more tired police officers.
"The studies that we have looked at, actually indicate that officers that work this shift have less fatigue, less stress, and use less sick leave," said Conrad.
FOP President David Mutchler agreed the change would be good for officers' morale.
"They voted 4-to-1 in favor, which is nearly a mandate. So 80 percent were full in support of this change," Mutchler testified.
The committee approved the bill 17-0, sending it on the full House.
Lawmakers said the change should help officers balance work and family.
"So anything that we can do to give you the time off to spend and invest that time in your families and your marriages, I think that's wonderful. It sounds like this would contribute to that," said Rep. Jim Wayne (D-Louisville.)
Conrad says it would help fight crime by putting more officers on the streets at any given time.
"More officers on the street allows us to have more officers in the right place at the right time doing the things that truly need to be done," Conrad told reporters.
"What you have here is something that is good for Metro Government, good for the police department, good for the citizens that we serve. But at the same time, it's something that is good for the officers that work on the street," added Mutchler.
Full passage is expected in the House. Supporters say a twin bill is, so far, getting a positive reception in the Senate.
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