Councilwoman calls for chief of police to be replaced - News, Weather & Sports

Councilwoman calls for chief of police to be replaced

Chief Conrad (Source: WAVE 3 News) Chief Conrad (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - She is fed up and willing to speak up. Councilwoman Angela Leet is asking for the removal of LMPD Chief Steve Conrad.

She is the first Louisville Metro council member to publicly do so.

"This was not an overnight decision," Leet told us.

So how did it get to this point?

In a statement Thursday asking for Conrad's removal, Leet mentions a homicide rate that is on pace to break another record.

She also brings up last December when 95% of members of the Fraternal Order of Police gave Conrad a vote of no confidence. Another issue she points to stems from February when Leet learned through our investigation that more than half of the money allocated for officer overtime was blown through in just 6 weeks. She also points to the Explorer Program sex abuse scandal which surfaced while the Conrad was already in charge of the department.

And Wednesday, the Chief came under fire by members of the Public Safety Committee when he refused to tell them the number of officers he'd like to hire. In an interview, Conrad told us it would be inappropriate to tell them the information before allowing Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer to present the numbers as part of his budget.

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"We've had enough and we want a safer community," Leet said.

Other council members were not so direct.

"It's still the mayor's decision on who he hires or fires and fires as police chief," Councilman, and the Chair of the Public Safety Committee, David James told us.

Councilman Brent Ackerson, who criticized the Chief Wednesday, told us  "That's a tough question to answer," when asked if he was satisfied with the job the chief was doing.

Meanwhile Mayor Greg Fischer said asking for the Chief to be replaced is  "an insult to the men and women of LMPD that the Chief leads."  Something Leet said is just the opposite.

"I know there's 12 hundred of them out there wanting to protect our community and they deserve the ability to do that," she said.

James said he will reserve judgment on whether the Chief should keep his job until May. That is when the Chief will present the outcome of his departmental re-organization to the council and its effect on curbing violence.

While some council members told us they are not ready to publicly ask for the Chief to be removed, some did acknowledge concerns.

"I am probably just as aggravated as anybody," Councilman James Peden said. "I think that the Mayor should sit down and quantifiably examine whether the Chief has been doing a good job."

Councilwoman Jessica Green said she also shares concerns, but stopped short of saying he should step down. "He needs to make significant changes in leadership styles," she said. "But replacing him would be an extreme remedy."

WATCH: Natalia Martinez's report here

Councilman Kevin Kramer told us,  "If 95% of the people don't have confidence in your ability, then it's time to ask questions."   

Not all agree. Councilman Dan Johnson told us the Chief should not be removed because he believes the Chief is doing a good job.

Chief Conrad declined to comment.

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