LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville Metro Police Department faces having to do “less with less.”
That was according to Chief Steve Conrad who told city council members that he’s re-organized the department in order to keep an adequate number of officers on patrol.
Keeping your family safe was on the top of the list Wednesday during a Louisville Public Safety Committee Meeting.
“We are trying to do this job with fewer resources,” Chief Conrad said. “We talk about trying to do more with less, the truth is we’re going to end up doing less with less and that is a problem."
The chief recently re-organized the department by eliminating the 9th Mobile Division and merging some of those detectives with the Narcotics Unit. That new unit is now called the Criminal Interdiction Division.
That’s not the only change, though. Officers in specialty units and detectives working in Major Crimes will also have to re-apply for their jobs. Those who are not selected will go back to being on patrol. The changes could leave the detectives left in those units, working even more cases.
“I will tell you that all of this has been a challenging process,” Conrad testified. “It has involved many difficult decisions that I know will have a significant impact on people that are going through this.”
This comes at a time when both murders and shootings are up over last year. As of Wednesday, there have been 283 shootings. That’s an increase of 7% over 2018.
As WAVE 3 News first exposed in a series of Troubleshooter Investigations, the department has lost a record number of officers due to them quitting or retiring. The trend so far seems to have continued even after the pension scare. From the beginning of the year through the month of Number, 86 officers have left. According to WAVE 3 News sources, even more officers are expected to leave in the month of December.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer canceled two recruit classes this year, not replacing the record number of officers who have left. The effect of that won’t be felt for a year when those recruits would have been on the street.