LMPD chief explains policy change regarding traffic stops

LMPD chief on traffic stop policy

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Louisville Metro Police Department has announced changes to policies related to traffic stops that will be going into effect in the coming months.

There's six policies in total that will be affected and they'll go into place August 1.

Chief Steve Conrad (source: Justin Hawkins, WAVE 3 News)
Chief Steve Conrad (source: Justin Hawkins, WAVE 3 News)

Chief Steve Conrad said a lot of the changes will be in an attempt to conduct these traffic stops free from bias. They will add language that emphasizes that merely being nervous or located in a high-crime area is not enough reason for certain actions.

Officers will also be instructed not to make the removal of people from cars a routine procedure. They should only do so when they are armed or have committed an arrestable offense.

They will also affect standard operating procedure when it comes to handcuffing people who are not arrested. Conrad says new policy would be in place as to not cause negative feelings about police.

New policies regarding traffic stops will go into place for Louisville Metro police officers on August 1, 2019. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
New policies regarding traffic stops will go into place for Louisville Metro police officers on August 1, 2019. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

The revised operating procedure reads that officers should handcuff people who are not under arrest only "when the officer has a reasonable and articulable belief that the subject presents a danger to the officer or another person."

"We are constantly evolving," Conrad said, "constantly working to improve and I think what this does is give us an opportunity to demonstrate that we're willing to listen and we're willing change."

Conrad said recent high profile traffic stops, like that of teenager Tae-Ahn Lea, were not deciding factors of the new policy changes. He did say he can't speak about that case specifically right now, as it is still under investigation.

Police officers will also receive new training under these new policies. Until August 1, they’ll be operating under current operating procedures.

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