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Harrodsburg City Commission Approves Expanded Critical Leave For First Responders

Robert Moore
Herald Staff

The Harrodsburg City Commission has approved changes to the city policy that would expand the amount of leave first responders could take after a critical incident—such as last week’s shooting—from two to five calendar days.

At their regular meeting on Monday, Jan. 8, the city commission authorized Mayor Bob Williams to sign a municipal order related to the city’s critical incident leave for police officers and firefighters. The revision allows first responders to take up to five working days of leave after a critical incident, such as last week’s stand-off with police on Mooreland Avenue, which happened Tuesday, Jan. 2. Commissioner Missy Banks, who proposed the revisions, praised the performance of police at the standoff, which ended with the suspect in custody. Banks oversees the city’s police and fire departments.

“Everybody did a fabulous job,” Commissioner Banks said about last week’s incident. She said the extra time will give officers a chance to make counseling appointments.

“I think they’re well deserved,” Banks said. Her motion was approved unanimously.

After being questioned on the exact meaning of the revision, the commission voted to amend the first motion from working days to calendar days because firefighters work shifts, not days. It was recommended that the city do away with days and go by hours.

“We can look at that,” said City Attorney Norrie Currens. Currens said they would look at the policy going forward.

“Firefighters are addressed separately in most policies,” she said.

The commissioners also approved Fair Labor Standards Act settlement agreements with Patrolman Isaac Shelton and Lt. Derek Patterson of the Harrodsburg Police Department. The city was not properly paying officers overtime for taking care of dogs.

“This was nothing we’ve done on purpose,” said Commissioner Marvin “Bubby” Isham. “We’re jumping ahead of it.”
Commissioner Banks said they want to make sure employees are properly compensated for “making sure animals are handled safely.”

After the vote, the commissioners were asked how hours would be tracked.

Currens said the hours had not previously been tracked. She said the city came up with the number of hours over and above shiftwork after discussing the issue with the officers. Personnel who handle police dogs will receive an additional five hours a week.

“If they’ve worked 40 hours, it would be overtime,” Currens said. She said the city has adopted new standards moving forward.

The commissioners also approved police department policy and procedure changes recommended by Kentucky League of Cities.

For the rest of the story, check out this week’s edition of the Harrodsburg Herald. Click here to subscribe.

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