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Lexington FOP President Says No-Knock Ban Violates Collective Bargaining Agreement

Stu Johnson

Lexington Fraternal Order of Police President Jeremy Russell said the new law banning the use of no-knock search warrants by local police is a violation of the union’s collective bargaining agreement with the city.  The FOP leader said working conditions and officer safety are mandatory subjects in any agreement. 

The FOP sued this week in an effort to see the ban lifted.  It also sought a temporary injunction of the ban.  Russell noted there are circumstances where a no-knock warrant is appropriate. “If I am observing something and in order to preserve life I need to take immediate action, I can do that.  I don’t need anyone’s permission to do that.  That’s my job.  The problem comes when we have reports of something going on in a residence and we are not able to observe that,” said Russell. 

Russell said the ban only affects the Lexington police department and not other local, state, or federal law enforcement agencies.  The FOP leader added the case could be in court for two months to two years and that’s why a request for a temporary injunction has been made. 

The Lexington police officer said the FOP has been seeking a startup of collective bargaining negotiations since March.  Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton, along with the police chief and two city council members Thursday indicated they don’t comment on a current legal matter. 

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