LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

Officers given 7 days to decide on take home cars


The battle is far from over when it comes to how much LMPD officers will pay for take-home cars. Louisville Metro Police officers have just one week to decide if they will pay a higher fee or give them up. LMPD Chief Robert White says the new fees will take effect February 1st, but officers have to make a decision by January 29th.

Officers received a memo went out Thursday telling them they have a week from Jan. 22nd to decide if they will pay the higher fee for their take-home cars or give them up.

"Take home cars are a privilege, not an entitlement" said LMPD Police Chief Robert White. "Officers don't pay gas, don't pay insurance or maintenance."

Officers currently pay $30 per month for the right to take home their city-owned cruisers and $60 per month if they use the vehicle for a second job.

Those fees will jump to $100 and $160, respectively, as part of Mayor Jerry Abramson's plan to eliminate a projected $20 million budget deficit this fiscal year.

The city originally wanted the increased fees to take effect in January. But the Fraternal Order of Police took the issue to court and an injunction was granted. However, earlier this week the Kentucky Court of Appeals threw out that injunction, clearing the way for the higher fees.

The increased fees are expected to save the city about $110,000 a month.

Thursday's decision isn't sitting well with the FOP. "This is an issue that affects wages and hours and working conditions, said FOP President John McGuire. "And it is something they should negotiate. Which they are refusing to do."

McGuire said the city should have waited until after labor board hearing in February before making a final decision.

The Labor Cabinet will decide if the city is entitled to raise the fees without first negotiating with the union.

"We of course were hoping they would wait until after our hearing," McGuire said. "This is still an issue that should be bargained with the bargaining unit."

Chief White says the city isn't in a position to wait until the labor cabinet hearing because there's no way to know when a decision could be made, and it could take months or even years.

If the Labor Board rules against the city, the higher fees will have to be refunded.