LMPD chief unveils digital dashboard, allowing community to track department’s reform progress

Erika Shields makes her initial remarks to the invited guests after being sworn in as chief of...
Erika Shields makes her initial remarks to the invited guests after being sworn in as chief of the Louisville Metro Police Department.(Source: Jeff Knight, WAVE 3 News)
Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 4:22 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Louisville Metro Police Department is allowing the public to track its progress on police reforms.

LMPD Chief Erika Shields and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer unveiled a new digital dashboard Wednesday, which allows the public to see the recommendations made by Chicago-based firm Hillard Heintze and the progress the department has made in completing them.

In January, Hillard Heintze released a 150-page, top-to-bottom audit of the department, highlighting changes necessary for improvement.

“We need to change and this report will be of no use unless we truly commit to driving change and making change,” Shields said.

The dashboard contains four sections - under review, planning & development, in process, completed - that will track, by percentage, where the department is on 12 topics of reform.

“You don’t turn a vessel on a 90-degree angle,” Shields said. “We have to get this right. We have to get this right.”

According to the report, LMPD officers disproportionately police Black people in every policing category, including electronic stop data, paper stop data, field contacts, arrests and citations. The report also indicated the Black community is underrepresented in the upper ranks of LMPD, while department morale as a whole was also low. Of surveyed officers, 75 percent of them said they would leave the department to go to another agency if given the choice.

“We know, for many of these things, what we need to do to make change and be successful in this area, but we’re also realistic about the implementation,” Shields said. “And it’s just not going to happen overnight. And so we’re just going to keep chipping away at it, but we’re committed to getting it right.”

WAVE 3 News asked Shields about her ability to reform the department, while also help curb the rise in violent crime. She said with the right processes, the two can go hand in hand.

“I’m not looking to check ‘completed,’ because listen, if we’re really making change, that’s not going to be the judge of it,” Shields said. “The judge of it will be a prolonged period of time where we show that we’re doing things differently.”

To see the new digital dashboard, click here.

To see the full Hillard Heintze audit, click here.

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