Fischer looking for ‘best person for the job’ as city posts LMPD chief opening

Fischer looking for ‘best person for the job’ as city posts LMPD chief opening

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville’s search for a new police chief took a step forward Monday after feedback from the community.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said the job was posted Monday but expects the search to take four to five months.

“The job has been posted and it’s up as of today,” Fischer said at the start of his news conference.

Fischer said the job listing was created by a national organization called PERF, the Police Executive Research Forum, after incorporating feedback from the public.

On June 10, Fischer launched a community-wide online survey, which asked the public to share:

1) The three most important qualities or skills you’d like to see in the next police chief

2) Suggestions for improving police services

3) What a new chief must accomplish immediately, and over the next 2-3 years

Fischer’s office sent another survey to LMPD officers, asking them to share their thoughts on the next chief.

“That’s an outstanding level of response and we listen to everything that they said,” Fischer said.

Public Safety Chief Amy Hess told reporters Monday the survey received 10,102 responses from the public and 185 from officers.

A few weeks ago, Hess also hosted 21 focus group listening sessions, where local organizations and leaders could voice their opinions and have discussions about how the mayor should choose a new chief.

“What we heard are several commonalities,” Hess said. “(The) frequently used phrases and descriptions we heard were, ‘We want somebody who’s accountable, who’s collaborative, who’s a proven leader, who’s reform-minded and who’s a good communicator.’ Common themes among the community survey and the community listening sessions included a focus on de-escalation strategies, greater autonomy in running the department, and many survey responses referenced defunding or abolishing the police.”

Officer Roberto Grider was a member of one of those listening sessions. Grider is a member of LMPD’s Seventh Division. He’s also a member of Black Police Officers for Change.

On Monday, he stood next to Fischer and shared what changes he would like to see made to the department.

Mayor Greg Fischer
Mayor Greg Fischer

“I want to see integrity, transparency, and I want to see a chief who brings the morale back to the department,” Grider said.

Mayor Fischer requests community input in search for new LMPD chief

Grider said the new chief needs to make himself known to the public, and be willing to walk the streets of Louisville. He said he also needs to bring officers together in a way former chiefs were unable.

“You always have to take care of your house first before you take care of anything else,” Grider said. “So, if he does that then his troops will follow.”

Fischer said the listing will remain open through August.

Once the listing is closed, PERF will evaluate the applicants and send a preliminary list to a small group for review. According to Director of Communications Jean Porter, that group will include community and Louisville Metro representatives, who will review the list, narrow it, conduct interviews and send their final recommendations to Fischer, who will make the selection.

“The next police chief has got to be the best person for the job, whether it’s him or her,” Fischer said. “You never know what happens when you start a process like this, right? So you never know what’s going to pop out of it as well. But we don’t want any limitations on gender, on race. We just want somebody that’s going to be the best fit here for our city.”

Former LMPD Chief Steve Conrad was fired on June 1, hours after David McAtee was shot and killed by National Guardsmen. Since then, Robert Schroeder has served as interim police chief.

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