LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — The Fraternal Order of Police Bluegrass Lodge 4 president, Jeremy Russell, issued a statement, citing the Lexington Police Department as being “over 20% understaffed.”

“Today, the Lexington Police Department is 131 sworn officers short. Some city officials will tell you we are only 116 officers short. These officials base their number on the number of positions the PD has filled, NOT the number of officers. We currently have 15 recruits in the academy, which THEY count as officers. That is as absurd as calling everyone in Medical school a doctor, or everyone in law school an attorney. Pay attention to the wording and manipulation. Lexington IS 131 SWORN OFFICERS SHORT. With an authorized strength of 639, missing 131 means we are over 20% understaffed. Think 131 short is not bad, just know that by the end of the year, there will be 134 officers that can retire whenever they want.

In addition to Lexington’s current officers being overworked and underappreciated, being short staffed means the residents, businesses and visitors to Lexington suffer as well. (We’ll discuss this more when we talk about response times.)

Today there are seven more officers actively working Patrol than when I started 21 years ago. Patrol are the officers that drive around looking for and preventing crimes and respond to calls for service. That’s 21 years with significant increases in the population and significant increases in responsibilities and there are only seven more active officers in Patrol.”

The Fraternal Order of Police Bluegrass Lodge 4 president, Jeremy Russell

Last week, FOP Bluegrass Lodge 4 shared Lexington’s current shooting investigations and monthly crime numbers. Currently, Lexington police have only closed nine of the 59 total shooting investigations in 2023 and have experienced a steady increase in total crimes since February.


“Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If the people in charge don’t care, it is up to the concerned citizens to let them know this is unacceptable,” Russell added at the end of the statement.