LMPD chief's no confident vote inches closer - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

LMPD chief's no confident vote inches closer

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

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - They've acknowledged it before. A number of Louisville council members want Louisville Metro's Police Department Chief Steve Conrad out.

"He is a great guy," Councilwoman Julie Denton said. "You just don't want him as your chief of police."

Wednesday, the Public Safety Committee discussed a resolution calling for a no confidence vote against Conrad. One of the issues that garnished the most anger were crime statistics presented by Louisville's mayor and chief showing overall crime is down by 4 percent.

During and after the meeting, some council members said those numbers were being manipulated.

"When I see the comp stats and I see that rape is up 300 percent in my district year over year and they are showing it's down, that's not right," Denton said. "It enrages me. It makes me think of the emperor's new clothes. There are no new clothes. This is all disillusion."

Both the chief and Mayor Greg Fischer have acknowledged homicides have increased. There have been 67 people murdered so far this year, five more than the same date in 2016. Last year broke the record for the number of homicides in a single year in the city's history.

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"Particularly violent crime in any city is not just a police problem it is a community problem and is something that we need to work on together," Conrad said during a press conference Tuesday.

Councilwoman Madonna Flood supports the chief, saying every crime cannot be blamed on one person.

"He works for all of us, but we can't hire and fire him," Flood said. "I haven't lost confidence in him and I haven't lost confidence in this, in the people of this city."

Flood asked for all citizens to do their part to stop the violence, asking for people with information about crimes to come forward.

"We want to have our neighborhoods respected," Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton said.

Hamilton will vote against the chief come next week. Hamilton is upset with some of Conrad’s decisions which she said have negatively impacted her district, such as the dismantling of LMPD's flex platoons and the demotion of Jimmy Harper, who served as the Second Division Major.

Wednesday, Fischer affirmed his support for the chief.

"The vote today is a distraction from the real work many people in the city are doing to fight crime. As the data clearly shows, overall crime is down 4 percent, even as homicides are up. We're headed in the right direction, as national experts have said," Fischer tweeted.

"It's a distraction for my constituents to live in a war zone," Councilman David James said. "It's a distraction for my constituents to be afraid to let their children go out and play. It's a distraction for my constituents to be afraid to go to the grocery store."

Wednesday there were other council members in the meeting that are not part of the Public Safety Committee, four of which said they still support the chief.

The largely symbolic vote is scheduled to take place on Aug. 10.

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