Firm hired to perform comprehensive review of LMPD

Mayor Greg Fischer called for the review in June, following public outcry and the ongoing protests demanding justice for the shooting death of Breonna Taylor.
Updated: Jul. 3, 2020 at 1:06 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Mayor Greg Fischer announced Chicago-based consulting firm Hillard Heintze will perform a top-to-bottom review of the Louisville Metro Police Department.

Fischer called for the review in June, following public outcry and the ongoing protests demanding justice for the shooting death of Breonna Taylor.

According to the mayor's office, the comprehensive review will focus on a number of areas, including training in use of force and bias-free policing, as well as accountability, supervision, community engagement and other topics. The review is also expected to identify any obstacles in implementing changes to improve those areas.

Mayor Greg Fischer told WAVE 3 News anchor Dawne Gee Thursday night it's all about finding where the department can improve.

"We're doing this top to bottom review in conjunction with the search for a new police chief as well so the new chief, she or he, will have a new template for improvement to move forward," Fischer said.

Hillard Heintze is among the nation's leading public safety consulting firms, according to a press release by the city.

The city said the firm will be active in gathering community feedback to "ensure substantial interactions with community members, interest groups, prosecutors, defense attorneys and LMPD personnel."

Metro Council President David James was apart of a group asked to help select a firm for the review. He said he's confident in what the firm will do.

"They were very detailed about what they wanted to do and how they were going to do it," James told WAVE 3 News. "At the end I want to see a tremendous amount of community engagement, a tremendous amount of engagement with the police officers. And then I want, in the end, the final product to be a document that is a blueprint of how to repair our broken police department."

Councilman Anthony Piagentini responded to the mayor’s announcement via Twitter:

Councilman Kevin Kramer said he's been keeping an eye on the selection process.

“One concern I would have in any of it would be if we are going to do a top-down look at the police department, I would want to make sure we start at the top and work our way down,” Kramer said. “I’m convinced the police officers on the street, the men and women who are out there doing their job everyday, I think they do good work. Now there are in every profession, folks that don’t handle their jobs as well as they should and there needs to be accountability. Someone has to hold them accountable, there has to be a boss somewhere. But if I was going to point to a problem in the police department, I would say it’s in that management and above.”

Kramer said he wishes the review would look at more than just the police department.

"Has our police chief been free to do the work of a police chief, or has our police chief been influenced by outside forces?" Kramer said. "You know, the chief has a boss. And if the chief is doing what the mayor asks him to do, changing the police chief doesn't fix it. Having a top to bottom review of the police department doesn't fix it. If the review doesn't deal with every aspect of the problem, starts at the top and works its way down, then I think we're wasting our money.

James said he knows there is more to look at than just the police department. but believes this is a start.

"Of course it's not the only problem we have," James said. "We have problems with the police department, we have problems with the mayors office. This is not a one-siloed situation. Everything needs to be looked at."

Mayor Fischer also announced Thursday the city would extend the time for residents and LMPD personnel to share their priorities for the next police chief until July 17.

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