FRANKFORT, KY – An effort to move Louisville police officers to 12-hour shifts gained momentum Wednesday after the Louisville Metro chief of police testified in Frankfort.
House Bill 149 was unanimously passed out of committee.
If passed, it will clear the way for a reorganization at the Louisville Metro Police Department that some believe will make Louisville safer.
Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad told a committee here in Frankfort today he wasn’t originally planning on 12 hour shifts, but the local FOP president changed his mind.
“We’ll end up with more officers on the streets, in the neighborhoods of our community on any given day,” Police Chief Steve Conrad said.
Conrad told the House committee on local government he supports changing officer shifts from eight to 12 hours.
A consultant recommended the change last year but Conrad did not initially want it, saying the longer shifts could cost an additional $1 million per year in overtime.
Fraternal Order of Police President Dave Mutchler told lawmakers his members are willing to give up that overtime.
“This 12-hour shift provides a lot of things that will assist officers in their personal lives, a lot of them to spend more time with their families, and they’re willing to make that tradeoff,” Mutchler said.
Rep. Jeff Donohue of Fairdale is sponsoring a bill.
It would create an exception for LMPD to the overtime rule.
This is how it would work, an officer would work 36 hours in week one, then 44 hours in week two.
Conrad said Mutchler helped him come up with the plan that won the support of 80 percent of FOP members.
“He and I and members of my leadership team spent days working through the different alternatives and how a 12-hour shift might work, the impact that might have on our officers,” Conrad said.
Conrad cautions this isn’t a silver bullet for crime. He said Louisville still needs to use other community initiatives to address the roots of crime.
“You know, I don’t think there’s any way to connect one specific thing that you do to an impact on crime,” Conrad said.
Donohue said he believes he has a senator who is going to sponsor a similar bill in the Senate, so he doesn’t see any problem getting this through the legislature.
That bill now goes to the House for a vote.