LMPD chief says he's staying put for now - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

LMPD chief says he's staying put for now

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Louisville, KY -

By Janelle MacDonald - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert White says he was notified by Atlanta's mayor early Friday morning that he did not get the chief's job there.

"Obviously there's a degree of disappointment as it relates to that, but I will tell you at the same time that I am very comfortable with the outcome," White said.

White says that means he'll stay put in Louisville for now.

White says he never actively sought either the police chief position in Atlanta or the one he was up for in Dallas.

"I was not pursuing this job nor the Dallas job," he said. "I was pursued as it relates to that and the only reason I expressed an interest in them is because the Mayor (Jerry Abramson) decided he wasn't running for reelection and I still had a desire to continue my career in law enforcement."

"My wife loves Louisville," White continued. "I love Louisville. The community has been extremely supportive of us, has been very kind. This is a great community."

White says he has had conversations with Democratic mayoral nominee Greg Fischer and both have expressed interest in working together if Fischer is elected in the fall.

"I think philosophically we're pretty much of one accord as it relates to how a police department should be run," White said.

Fischer said he has been consistent in his support for White for months.

"I think it was a process of saying, 'Would I be able to work with him? Could he work with me if in fact I win?'" Fischer said.  "This just happened over the last six to nine months or so."

Republican nominee Hal Heiner has not said who he would hire as police chief if were elected mayor.  He said a review of all department heads would start November 3rd, the day after the election.

"It seems irresponsible to me and the right time to do it is after the election," Heiner said of Fischer's decision to back White as chief.

"Once the campaign is over, we'll sit down with every department head and talk with them about their goals, their personal goals, their skills, their management abilities and how that matches up with the new higher goals for this government," Heiner said.

Heiner says crime statistics are higher in Metro Louisville than they were before the merger of urban and suburban governments in 2003.  He says White has made some progress both on crime statistics and other areas in the past few years.

"Certainly there's been improvements from a community relations standpoint," Heiner said, "but on the other hand, I am concerned about the low morale within the department."

Fischer's review of White's performance as chief is more favorable.

"He's done a good job of making our city one of the safest places in America and he's got good consistency," Fischer said. "We've got a good chief in Chief White and we should stay with that."

White says he doesn't think he should have to re interview for a job he already has, instead saying his service should speak for itself.

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