LMPD chief calls for judicial transparency

LMPD Chief Erika Shields is calling for more transparency and believes the public should be able to know which judges are doing what.
Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 6:27 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville Metro Police Chief Erica Shields said there’s a lot of work that needs to be done in terms of guns, violent crime and busting jail, but she’s not just talking about her officers.

“Until the courts, the (district attorneys,) you name it, are transparent about what they are doing,” Shields said. “I don’t think the public will ever really understand just how mis-served they are by select individuals.”

Shields is calling for more transparency, something LMPD is familiar with. She believes the public should be able to know which judges are doing what.

One issue officers have raised are when they, or a prosecutor, requests an arrest on a warrant, but the judge turns them down and issues a court summons instead.

“There’s multiple problems with that of course,” Shields said. “You’re trying to convince the officers to stay engaged and they’re seeing that this is the result of their efforts. But beyond that, that is an immediate safety risk to the public. And it just seems, I really don’t know what the process is.”

There have been calls from different groups for fewer people to be sent to the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections, especially with multiple deaths, overdoses, the building bursting at the seams and being severely understaffed.

Shields agreed, just not when it comes to violent cases. She added the public needs to pay attention and get to know the other components of the law designed to keep people safe.

“They assume that if I lock up somebody who is pointing a gun at me, they assume they’re going to jail,” Shields said. “That’s very often not the case.”