LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - LMPD has announced their new policy in working U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.
Under the new policy, when immigration officials call Metro Police for help, a commanding officer will handle the call, assess what level of help, if any, is appropriate, and join officers at the scene if dispatched.
Officers will only be dispatched if there is a criminal (not immigration status) warrant, when a crime has occurred or is occurring, or in an emergency situation when there is a clear public danger. According to LMPD Chief Steve Conrad and Mayor Greg Fischer, LMPD will not respond to requests to assist ICE in enforcing federal laws, such as knocking on doors to clear a house or apartment.
The policy comes after a Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting report that revealed 23 times during a six-month period when LMPD officers responded after immigration officials called MetroSafe/911 seeking assistance.
"LMPD enforces local laws, and we leave federal enforcement to federal agencies," Chief Conrad said. "When people need help, they need to know they can call on us to help them."
"This policy is a positive step that will make it clear to our officers how they should handle requests for help from federal immigration authorities," Mayor Fischer said. "The news report pointed out a gap in our policies, and the Chief acted quickly to address it."
LMPD released a video aimed at easing the fears of the immigrant community. The video features several officers emphasizing, in various languages, the Chief's message that officers responding to calls for assistance do not ask about immigration status, and urging the public to call police when they need help or have information about a crime.