LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The president of the Metro Corrections Fraternal Order of Police filed 12 grievances against Metro Corrections on Tuesday.

Tracy Dotson said the jail is not a safe place to work or house inmates, and the concerns need to be addressed to prevent any anyone from getting hurt.

Dotson said most of the complaints revolve around equipment not functioning and too many vacant positions.

“It’s not rocket science,” he said. “It’s basic safety and security equipment. And it needs to be working. Period.”

Those grievances are condensed to these main topics, according to Dotson:

  • There are nearly 50 vacant positions, forcing staff to be overworked and spread thin
  • Security cameras go out of service, sometime for a quick outage or permanently
  • Radios and intercom systems are not reliable
  • One main control center is supposed to be staffed by two people but is only staffed by one
  • Overcrowding has reached an unsafe level

"You can't say, 'Well the cameras aren't working because we're overcrowded,'" Dotson said. "It has nothing to do with that. We recognize the overcrowding. It just makes it all the more dangerous for us."

Metro Councilman David James read the letter Dotson sent in February. He said he has heard about safety concerns from corrections officers and that they worry violence in the jail could escalate if the concerns are not handled.

"To the taxpayer, there's a cost when things aren’t going well inside the jail," James said. "Either due to injuries, like we had the other day for workman's comp, or injuries to an inmate. We pay for that. So having the proper equipment working and functioning is important."

Dotson wrote a letter to Metro Corrections Director Mark Bolton on Feb. 27 with his concerns. He also sent that letter to Metro Council members. But when Dotson never heard back from Bolton, he filed the grievances on Tuesday.

Dotson said the day after he filed the grievances, Bolton sent an email to all Metro Corrections. But Dotson said it was in response to his February letter and did not address the current grievances.

"We need the cameras, the doors, the intercom systems, the radios to be working ... so that we can address the overcrowding and handle the issues that are going to come up as a result of that," he said.

Bolton has ten days to reply to the grievances.

“If in the end, management and the labor organization cannot reach an agreement, then it’ll go to a hearing officer to hear both sides," James said. "And then they’ll make a decision.”

Metro Corrections leaders did not respond to WDRB’s requests for comment.

"I think having those safety issues addressed should be a priority for Director Bolton and for the FOP,” James said.

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