Days before he was sworn in three months ago as mayor of Lexington, Ky., Jim Gray was handed a 67-page report by his transition team that highlighted myriad problems throughout the city’s public safety agencies. The report detailed management, budget and other issues at the jail and with police, fire, code enforcement and emergency services. It foreshadowed the actions Gray has taken since he entered office, including an attempt to dissect issues at the jail, the city’s 911 call center and at the fire department.
Public safety unions that backed Gray said their agencies were plagued with low morale and lack of faith in leadership. The police union wants a new chief. At the jail, union officials said the top brass has a “closed-door policy” and “no plans to address the public’s perception of the corrections facility.” And the fire union president said there is a lack of diversity and “no trust, respect or leadership” in the division of fire’s administration. Last week, Gray asked for the resignation of Fire Chief Robert Hendricks.