LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Officers and sergeants in the Louisville Metro Police Department approved a new, higher-paying contract with the city over the weekend, the River City Fraternal Order of Police announced Sunday.

What You Need To Know

  • LMPD officers approved a new, higher-paying contract over the weekend

  • Officers had previously rejected a contract that offered higher pay

  • The new contract will help retain and recruit officers, the River City FOP said

  • Metro Council could approve the contract by the end of the year

The approval of the contract comes two months after rank-and-file officers rejected a collective bargaining agreement that would have provided a 9% raise in fiscal year 2022 and another 3% raise in fiscal year 2023. In a statement at the time, the FOP said officers and sergeants felt the proposal “would not do enough” to stem attrition in the department and boost recruitment. 

The new contract maintains the 9% raise for fiscal year 2022, but increases the subsequent pay raise to 6%. That means a starting officer's pay will increase from $45,489 to $52,561 in July 2022 if the contract is approved by Metro Council. 

"The FOP believes the decision to ratify the proposal can help with recruitment and retention efforts," the union said in a statement. 

“The critical manpower shortage that currently exists makes it essential that everyone involved do everything possible to assist the LMPD to reach adequate staffing levels." LMPD currently has 764 officers, which Police Chief Erika Shields has said is hundreds fewer than ideal.

Mayor Greg Fischer called on Metro Council to pass the contract in a statement Monday. "It's critical that Louisville has a police department that offers competitive compensation in order to retain and drive recruitment of the best and brightest officers and to move forward with reforms that strengthen trust between officers and the community they serve," he said. "I believe the sergeants' and officers' contract does just that."

In a tweet, Metro Councilman Anthony Piagentini, R-19, said that the new contract, which must be approved by Metro Council, will come before the Labor and Economic Development Committee next week. If approved, it could be voted by the full council by the end of the year. “Competitive pay is critical to stabilize our police force,” he wrote.

Earlier this month, Metro Council gave final approval to a new contract for midlevel LMPD leadership. It included a 20% pay raise by 2023, along with a handful of reforms. Among the reforms are mandatory drug and alcohol testing after critical incidents and changes to the type of disciplinary records that are kept in an officer’s permanent record.

The contract for officers and sergeants contains similar provisions, which are unchanged from the contract they previously rejected.

Opponents of the contract have argued that the reform measures don't go far enough and object to the process of negotiating the contract without public input.