LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — It has been a volatile time in law enforcement. Past praise for good work is now overshadowed by protests condemning police brutality and demanding change.
Jonathan Bastian, President of Lexington's Fraternal Order of Police Bluegrass Lodge number 4, says the constant scrutiny about policing in general, is taking a toll.
He tells LEX 18 that in June and July of 2020, more Lexington police officers choose to take service retirement compared to numbers from 2017 to present.
"Normally our personnel do not retire in June or July, we've already got six, and we haven't hit July yet. It certainly doesn't bode well for the future," said Bastian.
Bastian predicts the numbers could triple or quadruple by the end of summer, saying, "I know our membership is worried. About half of people who already declared intentions to retire on years of service are supervisors." He added, "It causes kind of fear and instability when we see this mass exodus of experience."
Bastian doesn't dismiss the concerns and pleas for change. As FOP president, he hopes the city and government leaders look at Lexington police on a local level.
"I think the message from FOP and members is stop using what happened in other places to label us. Look at local issues, local concerns local facts and use those as a discussion," said Bastian.