Metro Police officers to spend less time in court - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Metro Police officers to spend less time in court

Big changes are underway within the judicial system in Metro Louisville.  It's all centered around the way police and prosecutors conduct their jobs.

You go to court, especially at district court on a Monday morning, and the place is packed.  But now, maybe you'll find a little more walking space.

That's because the county attorney and police believe the wheels of justice will spin a lot more freely if more police officers didn't have to spend so much time in court.

Police spokesman Troy Riggs says the questions were, "How can we adjudicate these cases faster?  How can we make sure people are being prosecuted to he fullest extent Of the law.?

For the most part, Metro Police will no longer be subpoenaed for pre-trial hearings in district cases, misdemeanor, and traffic cases.

Often the officers aren't needed during the early stages of these cases.  And often the cases are resolved with police or witnesses.  The theory is -- fewer officers in court means more on the street workIng major felony cases. And by some estimates, the court docket could be reduced 30%.

Jefferson Co. Attorney Mike O'Connell says, "I think realistically, I think a report card will come in thirty, sixty, or ninety days.  We get these cases in the pipeline, get them back in court for the second time, to see how many cases get disposed of, to see if there are truly major problems, without police or witnesses not appearing on a first-call case."

The practice is already in place in Lexington and other cities around the country.  Riggs says, "We think it's going to reduce the number of times our officers go to court, it's going to allow us to be more efficient in the court system, and give us a chance as managers to review where officers are going in court, watch the outcomes of those cases, and to make sure we're making good calls in court."

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