Corrections officers organizing to address salaries


Reporter- Elizabeth Fields
Photojournalist- Mason Watkins

PADUCAH- The Lake Barkley #60 Fraternal Order of Police are planning a meeting to discuss a plan to fight for funding.

President, Larry Bland told Local 6 it's time for the state to address its underpaid and overworked corrections officers. According to Bland Kentucky officers are among the 5 lowest paid officer in the country and after years of reduced budgets, the state should have some savings to share. 

Bland said the state is saving millions of dollars because a law passed last year allows for the early release of non-violent offenders. That's why inmate numbers are down and they were able to close private prisons.

"We're not looking for the whole pie," he said. "We're just looking for a piece of the pie and we think our officers deserve a little bit of that savings."

He said state employees are entitled to a 5% incremental increase every year, but he stopped getting those in 2000. Plus, the state is supposed to incentives officers with retention pay every two years, but they aren't getting that money either.

His hope is both members and non-members come to the meeting Monday to learn about how they can help get their voices heard. Bland has also invited Stan Humpheries and Will Coursey to the meeting. Penitentiary Warden Randy White will be the speaker. 

The meeting is November 4 at 3:30 p.m. at Lee Jones Jones Park, in Eddyville, Ky.