The Louisville Metro Police Department is in danger of losing 200 or more officers by the end of the summer, according to the leader of the union that represents them.
River City FOP President Ryan Nichols said LMPD is at risk of losing not only veteran officers but young ones, and that could gravely affect public safety and the future of the department.
“As much as I would like to say I would encourage all of our officers to stay here and that this is a great place to work, the fact is that’s not true,” Nichols said.
Nichols said reasons officers are looking to leave include lack of leadership, unfair benefits and feeling unappreciated.
“These are wonderful men and women of LMPD who are out here to protect and serve the community that they love and live in, and they’re being villainized for it,” Nichols said.
The FOP said LMPD currently has around 1,100 officers, which is already down about 150 officers.
“The continual loss of officers will cause us not to be able to provide the basic public safety services, even to the level we’re providing now,” Nichols said.
Nichols said that could lead to slower response times, increased violence and more unsolved crimes.
Community Activist Christopher 2X said while some people would feel the void of losing 200 officers, others may not.
“Those who are connected to the social justice causes and advocacies probably aren’t going to miss 200 officers,” he said. “Some are talking about defunding the police department.”
2X said protesters and officers are calling for a solution that will not come until there is trust.
“It’s a mess,” he said. “I hope we can straighten it out, because we have to do our best to co-exist.”
WDRB News received the following statement from Mayor Greg Fischer on Wednesday.
“Our officers have an unbelievably difficult job. I am incredibly appreciative for the job they do every day, but especially now, constantly working to keep everyone safe while protecting the First Amendment rights of protesters. They are working long hours, long days, sacrificing for the rest of our community, and for that I am grateful.”