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State Sides With FOP In Take-Home Car Dispute

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet has upheld a hearing officer's recommendation in a dispute between the Louisville Metro Police union and the administration of Mayor Jerry Abramson over the city's take-home car program.Labor Secretary J.R. Gray agreed with the ruling issued in May that Metro Government cannot charge police officers for the use of their take home cruisers.The charges were implemented as part of the effort to help close the city's budget deficit. It was estimated the move would save the city $1.4 million this fiscal year.The Fraternal Order of Police contends that the take home program is part of its collective bargaining agreement and cannot be changed without negotiations. The Abramson administration says the cars are a privilege and not a right.Mayor's spokesperson Kerri Richardson said in a statement that Metro Government will appeal the Labor Cabinet ruling but will suspend the collection of the take-home car fees.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.