LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - One of the first people new LMPD Chief Steve Conrad mentioned when his new job was announced was his predecessor, former Chief Robert White, who is now in charge in Denver. While in Louisville, White worked with Conrad for three years while he was chief.
When we spoke with the former chief after the announcement was made Tuesday, White said Conrad will do a fantastic job in the position. Before leaving Louisville, White said he spoke with Mayor Greg Fischer several times about his replacement and told us Conrad's name was brought up often.
White said he gave Conrad rave reviews. Chief White was the one to promote Conrad to Lieutenant Colonel, the rank just under chief. Conrad was the first of three officers White promoted and said Conrad played an integral part in the merger of the former Louisville Police and Jefferson County Police Departments.
"You could give him an assignment and it was done," said White. "You didn't have to worry about him. There's a few people in the department, Steve was one of them, that I knew I could absolutely count on and I didn't not have to follow up."
White said the two kept in touch after Conrad retired from LMPD to take the job in Glendale, Arizona. According to White, the combination of being back in his hometown where he served for 20 years, as well as having leadership outside the city will only be a win for everyone involved.
"There are pros and cons to everything," White said. 'He has the sense of the department because he retired from the department. He went and got additional experience from doing other things and he's bringing that back. Many of us would say it's a plus. Sometimes when you've been in one place the only thing you know is that place you become a victim of your environment. I don't think it's a detractor. I think it's a plus."
To do a good job, White said Conrad has to select a team, get them on board and use the community as the multiplier in that equation. He added that it will be up to Conrad to pick his team, but he thinks a great one is already in place. White also said any one of the individuals from within LMPD could have done a phenomenal job as chief too.