Retired Louisville Police Officer gives insight on what trainings can help LMPD

Retired Louisville police officer D'Shawn Johnson gives insight on what trainings can help LMPD moving forward.
Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 8:34 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Adequate training and the lack thereof has been the topic of conversation for LMPD following Wednesday’s DOJ report.

Former Louisville Police Officer D’Shawn Johnson said now may be one of the most difficult times to be a cop in Louisville following the release of the report.

However, with the proper changes, he feels this will make the department a best version of itself.

According to their website, to be an LMPD officer you have to go through a three to six month selection process including more than a thousand hours of basic training.

A process Johnson knows too well, but he said there has to be more.

“It has to get a little deeper. You have to,” Johnson said. “They do certain scenario training to ‘what if’s.’ What if you have this situation? What happens in this situation? Training is great but it really comes into play when you’re out there.”

He believes training needs to be more people based so officers are prepared to see people of all walks of life through the same lens.

“Because everyone doesn’t grow up through the same lens, everyone doesn’t grow up in the same area,” Johnson said. “You take a young man who doesn’t have much interaction with African American culture and he goes to the academy and sworn in and you put him out in the street, now he’s at a disadvantage because he’s culture shocked.”

While training is a part of the solution, finding the correct trainings and upholding them is the problem.

“Some trainings just don’t exist right now because we’re going into a new era that’s trying to understand people,” Johnson said.

A new era that Johnson said will be bring great change if the community is patient enough.

“At the end of the day is it going to benefit the officers? Yes it is,” Johnson said. “At the end of the day is it going to benefit the community? Yes it is. But right now seeing those benefits is hard because all you’re getting is that those 36 violations. You’re getting them thrown at them right now.”

Johnson also encouraged officers to face the change head-on.

“For those who are involved in law enforcement, I would take this time to embrace it,” Johnson said. “And say it’s coming let’s embrace it and let’s do it because this will make me a better officer. For those on the community side I’d say be patient because it’s going to take a while.”

Johnson said he believes that in ten years time, the changes that come from this report will make this LMPD better than ever.