LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Following reports of no working equipment, inmate rights being violated and less training, the Louisville Corrections FOP (Fraternal Order of Police) Lodge 77 is asking for changes at Louisville Metro Department of Corrections.
The police union hosted a 'Corrections Crisis Labor Summit' public forum on Tuesday evening at the Louisville Central Community Center.
According to Louisville Corrections FOP Lodge 77 President Daniel Johnson, there's around 150 staff vacancies.
"If you have a mother, son, daughter, brother, loved one inside our jail, they are not safe," Tracy Dotson, FOP Lodge 77 spokesperson, said. "They're not safe, not as they should be."
The working conditions are also the living conditions at the jail, which isn't good for anyone, according to Louisville Corrections FOP.
"We saw the news story last week where a female had the same towel for two weeks," Dotson said. "The same shower towel for two weeks."
On Monday, a fire was set at the jail. At the time of the fire, 13 officers were working overtime from the previous shift and half of the staff was working some form of overtime.
During the fire, an inmate was able to open his door, get out and assault another inmate.
"If this is your loved one, I am sorry," Johnson said. "Administration has failed you, unable to maintain proper equipment, and now this inmate is looking at a broken eye orbital. Had that door locked and stayed locked like it was supposed to, this would have never happened."
"It's a jail and the doors aren't working," Dotson added.
The FOP says it has hit a wall with Louisville Metro Corrections and Mayor Greg Fischer, saying the only communication it has received from the mayor's office is to increase overtime pay.
An overtime incentive is seen as a "temporary band-aid" instead of addressing pay scale and filling open positions.
"It has gotten so far past the pail, that it's not longer right for our citizens," Dotson said.
Community members at the meeting on Tuesday want accountability and real solutions.
Metro Corrections' officers inside the jail admit to being tired. They say the jail's own policies are violated on a daily basis, and the people in charge are turning a blind eye.
"You know that our intercoms aren't working, you know the radios are broken, you know that inmate rights are being violated," Michelle Sogan, Metro Corrections officer, said. "Our rights are being violated, you know the stuff we're dealing with and nobody cares."
The FOP says training has fallen off at a time when there are new use-of-force techniques and de-escalation training. Officers haven't had an in-service class since 2019.
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