LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- For years now, employees for Louisville Metro Department of Corrections employees have expressed concern that there are not enough employees to handle the job.
"We currently have 36 staff members that are out, either with COVID or signs of COVID and symptoms of COVID awaiting test,” Louisville Corrections FOP (Fraternal Order of Police) Lodge 77 President, Daniel Johnson.
"It's essentially 150 vacancies that we're trying to staff a jail that is more crowded than it's ever been,” Johnson said.
The limited number of workers are forced to work 16-hour shifts, and Johnson says those who work in the jail have yet to be compensated with at least pay raises.
"It's a big responsibility to ask someone to take on and pay them $17 an hour," said Johnson. "We're going to ask people to go into these dorms – these living areas where we know inmates are COVID-positive."
Louisville Metro Council President and former police officer, David James says he is aware of the issues.
"We have to officers overseeing over 480 inmates just in one section," said James. "The equipment is not very good and the intercom system is down again."
Metro Corrections continues to lose workers at an alarming rate, James too would like to see immediate changes that will address the issues.
"It's really incumbent upon the mayor to fix these problems as soon as possible," said James.
Johnson said those changes cannot come soon enough.
He said adding five more dollars an hour to the vacant and current employee positions would, “be a step in the right direction."
Johnson says the goal is to get something done by Monday, because another week inside the jail "could be dire" with the staffing shortage.
Copyright 2021 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.