Advocates want LMPD chief candidates released

Advocates want LMPD chief candidates released
Published: Jul. 11, 2023 at 6:54 PM EDT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Mayor Craig Greenberg hopes to have a permanent chief for the Louisville Metro Police Department announced by the end of this month.

After running a campaign on transparency, advocates are upset with Louisville’s decision to conduct its police chief search secretly.

The hiring process was more open when former Chief Steve Conrad got the nod. But the process was kept secret, starting with former Chief Erika Shields.

“We knew there was distrust in the police department, but during those hearings, it was apparent there was sufficient distrust with the city itself,” Louisville NAACP President Raoul Cunningham said.

Cunningham said Greenberg’s administration is making a mistake in keeping the list of police chief candidates out of public view.

If he had a list he would be checking with NAACP branches in each city a candidate was coming from.

“How the NAACP evaluates their performance,” Cunningham said.

It was not always like this. WAVE News reported the list of five candidates vying to lead LMPD in 2012.

Ultimately Conrad was given the job. But after he stepped down following the death of Breonna Taylor the interview process for his replacement was kept from public view.

Then Shields was given the job.

“I would like to think by the end of July we will have an announcement on our permanent police chief,” Greenberg said.

The city’s search firm surveyed 1,200 people about what they would like to see in a new chief. Crime reduction was a top priority. But that survey did not reveal any candidates.

Cunningham said Greenberg is risking voters’ trust, by pledging transparency but not following through.

“I did vote for him, but if the election were held today, based on what transpired, it would be very doubtful,” Cunningham said.

Other cities have had their finalists for police chief jobs interviewed in public or taken part in public forums.