NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The Andrew Jackson Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police are questioning Mayor Briley's proposed FY2020 budget.
Tuesday just after noon, the FOP billboard was posted at a number of locations around Nashville, including one across the street from Nashville City Hall.
The billboards accuse Mayor Briley of funding, then cutting department finance needs.
The FOP stated in a release that a memo sent to Metro Nashville PD's finance director noted concerns from the Mayor regarding MNPD's Fiscal Year 2020 budget. The FOP says one of the concerns highlighted was the cutting of approximately $2 million dollars from the annual budget, while also not listing a budgetary resource for the Mayor's proposed 6.4% starting salary increase for new hires, to help address Metro PD's recruiting challenges.
The FOP release did not directly address or name the source of the memo send to the MNPD finance director.
The Fraternal Order of Police is the world's largest law enforcement organization, has local, state, and federal law enforcement membership in the Nashville area Andrew Jackson Lodge 5.
The billboards have been placed around Nashville by the FOP to inform the public of their concerns.
News4's Carley Gordon contacted the Mayor's office for input, and was provided the following statement from the Mayor's spokesperson:
Mayor Briley’s FY2020 budget includes a 3 percent cost-of-living adjustment for all police officers, as well as open range and step increases for MNPD. The Mayor’s budget also includes 6.4% increase in starting salaries for new officers. To say otherwise is factually incorrect.
The 6.4% raise in starting police salaries will be paid in accordance with the city’s pay plan effective July 1, 2019. This means that all police trainees employed on or after July 1 will be paid 6.4% higher than last fiscal year.
Every department in Metro was given a targeted savings goal this year, and the goal for MNPD was held flat from the amount last year. The continued use of savings targets was clearly communicated publicly during the budget process, so it should not be a surprise to anyone. The continued use of saving targets was also a recommendation of the Blue Ribbon Commission.
We are in an election season, which unfortunately means that politically motivated groups will push misinformation out to the public.
Mayor Briley deeply appreciates the work that our officers do every day and will continue to work to get them the resources they need.
Nashville’s mayoral candidates weighted in and had harsh words for Briley.
“The men and women who are already serving us deserve a pay raise too,” candidate John Cooper said in a statement. “Nashville needs all of the approximately 1,500 police positions funded. Nashville needs a leader that will restore trust in our community and prioritize our residents’ needs.”
“It’s clear that Nashville’s first responders, as well as our teachers and Metro workers, can’t trust Briley,” candidate John Ray Clemmons said in a statement. “It’s time to restore trust between the mayor’s office and working families by electing a mayor who will do what he says and put people first.”
“Once again, Mayor Briley has proven his lack of leadership ability by making a hollow campaign promise in what has to be a desperate attempt to score last-minute votes, this time putting the safety of our citizens at risk,” candidate Carol Swain said in a statement. “Nashville deserves a mayor with integrity who will make public safety a top priority, not just a bargaining chip.”
“We are in an election season, which unfortunately means that politically-motivated groups will push misinformation out the public,” Briley said in a statement in response to his opponents.