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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Louisville Metro Police leadership is one step closer to a big pay raise while the department’s rank and file waits for their share of a better contract.

However, the River City Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) says movement on a new contract for LMPD’s higher ranks is a good sign for the rest of the department.

On Wednesday, the Metro Council Labor and Economic Development Committee unanimously passed a contract for captains and lieutenants at LMPD.

“We’ve heard our new chief say we should be the highest paid police department in the state of Kentucky, and obviously we feel that way,” said FOP President Ryan Nichols.

The new contract includes a 20% pay raise for LMPD’s leadership by 2023.

“These are the leaders that we need to retain in order to lead this department,” said Councilman Anthony Piagentini, R-19. “If we start to hemorrhage them, we haven’t seen the beginning of how bad this city can get.”

The contract also includes several new accountability reforms, including: “Reprimands, suspensions or terminations involving excessive use of force, sexual misconduct, bias, criminal activity, and truthfulness warrant permanency” on one’s record.

Right now, the contract for the department’s officers and sergeants is still up in the air as LMPD is currently 300 officers short.

“We are bleeding officers. We need the mayor to recognize this and get this contract negotiated as soon as possible,” said Metro Council President David James. “I know the FOP is sitting and waiting for the mayor to give them a date to say let’s meet.”

James said he hopes the council will introduce an ordinance next month that will give all of the city’s public safety workers new pay incentives.

“We need to put people in those slots as soon as possible,” he said.

Meanwhile, the FOP plans to negotiate higher pay and better benefits for its rank and file officers.

“Seeing how this moves through committee and through council was a step we needed to take,” said Nichols. “As soon as that process is complete, we will hopefully be immediately back to the table with the city.”

Mayor Greg Fischer’s Office sent WDRB News a statement about the contract negotiations. It reads, “We are working with FOP counsel now on next steps and will meet soon after the full Metro Council votes on the Captains’ and Lieutenants’ contract.”

That contract heads to a full council vote next week. A copy of the contract can be found in the PDF below, or by clicking here.

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