LMPD reforms could cost taxpayers $8-$10 million
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - While the Department of Justice continues its investigation to determine whether the Louisville Metro Police Department has a pattern of excessive force, police department leaders and the Metro Council met on Monday to discuss policy changes for the department.
LMPD intends to take a proactive approach by implementing changes before the investigation, which was launched in April, is finished.
“You cannot change behavior or culture simply by updating policies,” Assistant Chief Lt. Col. Paul Humphrey told the council.
He and other city officials presented five areas in need of improvement. The first is supervision, which includes the establishment of a new accountability bureau. Then comes policy development for issues like the use of force. The city is also looking for staffing, training, and data collection updates.
According to research comparing similar cities, the cost of those reforms is estimated to be between $8 million and $10 million. The American Rescue Plan, according to city officials, will cover the majority of the costs.
Early steps, as Councilman Anthony Piagentini pointed out, could be risky. A DOJ mandate could later order changes, effectively depriving the city of the ability to reform its own police department.
“Because the worst-case scenario is we spend $8 to $10 million a year proactively to find out that that made zero impact whatsoever on the entire consent decree, so we just wasted $20 million in taxpayer money,” Piagentini said.
Humphrey said based on research and feedback, he’s hopeful these reforms line up with any potential changes from the DOJ.
“I’m very confident that the spending we are requesting is not frivolous spending,” Humphrey said. “That it is for a purpose, and it will be effective.”
Humphrey said LMPD hopes to implement changes as soon as possible but didn’t offer a timeline.
The investigation by the Department of Justice is expected to take another year to complete.
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