LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A response from the Department of Human Resources at the Mayor’s Office supports the grievance from Metro Corrections officers that Professional Standards Unit investigations are not being done in a timely manner.
According to FOP 77 President Tracy Dotson, the union contract states PSU investigations must be complete within 60 days unless there’s an exigent circumstance.
Dotson said an exigent circumstance could be an illness or a family crisis, but must be significant.
“I need an extension because I didn't have enough time to do my job is not exigent,” he explained.
A letter from Louisville Metro’s Department of Human Resources agreed that “failure to complete a PSU investigation within 60 days, and without an approved request for an extension based on the existence of an ‘exigent’ circumstance, is a violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement” in the FOP Corrections contract.
“One of the most frequent calls that I get as president is 'Do you know what's going on with my investigation? Why is it taking so long? It's been a year and a half,’” said Dotson.
Of the 400 or so corrections officers, 40-50 are part of an open investigation at any given time, according to Dotson. He said 90% of those have lasted longer than the mandated 60 days.
“We're really harming members and their ability to get promoted, get job bids, get other jobs in other agencies, things like that,” he said.
Investigations vary. In one instance, an officer was accused of misfiring his gun. In another, officers were investigated after a man was found unresponsive in a cell.
He explained that it’s not a matter of getting an officer cleared; it’s a matter of giving them an answer so they can move on from the investigation.
“Abide by our contracts. There's a statement in the Mayor's resolution that says our contracts are to be followed, period."
A response from a spokesperson at the Office of Metro Corrections states: “We appreciate working with the FOP labor team towards consensus on terminology and clarity regarding investigative nuances or complications. In the final analysis, we all want the same thing: a fair investigation that gets the facts right.”
The class-action grievance asks that current open investigations be closed immediately. Dotson said there is a meeting scheduled for next week to discuss moving forward.