LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

The Police Tax


Incredibly in the pursuit to regain money that he squandered on his frivolous spending practices and promises made without the approval of the Metro Council, Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson has now demanded that Officers that work off duty jobs, which they do to offset the petty raises that he has given during his tenure pay $60 per month for the privilege of working extra to make ends meet. In order for me to try and have a few nice things I will now have to work even more because our overspending playboy mayor has mismanaged metro government so badly that now he says we have a 9 million dollar deficit. We haven't forgotten Mr. Mayor that you are the one that did all the overspending on your granite curbs, ring-park and arena etc… Yet you expect the little guy to pull your chestnuts out of the fire by charging them to use their assigned vehicles to help compensate.

Here is what I think. I think that the use of a take home police car has benefited the community over the years a lot more than it has benefited the officers that took them home. In the 1970's Mayor Harvey Sloan decided to cut back the Police Department by starting the OMNI Car Program. Omni stands for Omni Presence. Mayor Sloan sold the program to the community several ways:

1. That there would be the appearance of "more officers on the street" by having Officers takes the vehicles to and from work and encouraged them drive them off duty.

2. The cost of the fleet would be reduced because cars were not being run 24 hours a day and lasting less than 1 year. (Louisville and other major cities that did not have take home vehicles replaced a patrol unit on an average of 6 months to a year)

3. Officers took better care of the vehicles and they now average 6-8 years per vehicle before it is taken out of service.

4. Officers were allowed to use the vehicles to work off duty which further put more uniformed officers on the street usually at locations or businesses that were trouble locations which in turn freed up on-duty officers from having to make runs at these locations. (In 2003 Chief Robert White endorsed the take off duty work program because on duty officers didn't have to continually make runs to these type locations.)

5. The cost savings for the governments were astronomical and the program worked.

6. Officers were able to get ahead and provide better for their families because they were able to make a little extra on the side.

Mayor Sloan was then able to cut the manpower of the department to a level that has not had to be increased since the 1970's (more than 100 officers) because there were officers willing to take second jobs in these trouble locations paid for by merchants and business owners for only the cost of the car being at the location. This off duty program that he started has been a boon to the community and to the neighborhoods. If there was a police car in a neighborhood or a business it reduced crime and once again gave the perception that there were more Police out there then there actually were.It is a well known fact that Mayor Abramson doesn't like the police. He has proven this time and time again that he loathes them and considers them second class citizens. He considers them an unfortunate necessity. The new policy states "The fee is intended to recover costs for fuel usage, and vehicle wear and tear, which occurs during the use of departmental vehicles for the member's profit." BALONEY! How much "WEAR AND TEAR" is done to a vehicle driven for a couple of miles and parked while the officer goes inside and works off duty? This is ridiculous. He has failed time and time again to properly fund protection of the community and crime is at an all time high and morale is at an all time low. Officers are currently working without a contract because he wants to not provide proper raises for the men and women that keep our community safe.

He wants to further drive down the morale of the officers by now charging them for the "so called"privilege of using the vehicles for off duty work. His plan is to charge the officers $60.00 a month whether they use the vehicle 1 time a month or 30 times a month to work off duty.

I would like to know why he expects officers to bear the brunt of his egregious spending practices and how he thinks this will make our community a better place. I would also like to know if the Metro Council is planning on taking a stand on this issue. Is the FOP planning to fight for the membership regarding this issue? The take home cars are not in the contractual agreement between the government and the FOP.

It has always been and understood practice that if I am driving my take home police vehicle and I see a crime in progress, a violator or a citizen that needs assistance that because I have a take home vehicle I would stop and take action or render assistance and that I would not put in for overtime for the time spent on my time. I think that unwritten policy will mean that because the officers are now being charged for this privilege then they should no longer do it for free. I am sure the overtime costs from 4 or 5 motorist assists or citations etc… will be far costlier to Metro Government than the amount of money he is demanding for using the vehicle in order to help feed their families.

He has once again proven that his ineffectual leadership is further driving this community down. The fractional "monetary savings" will not begin to compensate for his overspending. He has been the worst mayor this community has ever seen. The people of our community need to realize that with crime at an all time high and the FACT that there are less officers on the street now than before merger that we need to do more to at least have the appearance of more Officers on the street not less.

Officers have been told to resubmit their 2008 off duty requests and I can foresee that the businesses will suffer because Officers won't work a 1 time gig for $100 dollars when they will have to pay $60 to the mayor for the privilege of driving to the job and parking their car. One Officer put it succinctly that at every U of L game he sees plenty of officers drive to the game to watch the game. He also sees officers drive to the game to work the game. Why would anyone work the game if 60% of the money they hoped to make will now be taken away from them by Metro Government"

The "Police Tax" has obviously been implemented to make up for his failed library tax. Don't forget that Mayor Abramson likes to spend money that he doesn't have. He did it at merger when he tried to take the tax money from the Sheriff and when he lost in court he bemoaned that he had already put that money in the next year's budget. He is saying now that we are facing a 9 million dollar shortfall which is suspiciously like the amount he was going to get from taxing all citizens of Louisville for the use of the libraries