Betty Baye: Who should replace Chief White? - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Betty Baye: Who should replace Chief White?

Who should replace Robert White as Metro Louisville Police Chief? Some are pushing for an internal choice. Some want Mayor Fischer to appoint a woman, which would be another first, as was the case when former Mayor Abramson appointed White, who was Louisville's first African American police chief.

But whoever is tapped will inherit a department in which a lot of the heavy lifting has already been done.

So my hope is that the new chief will put as high a priority as Chief White did on assuring residents in all parts of town that their voices would be heard.

During a nine-year tenure Chief White reached out to communities that, rightly or wrongly, historically felt more put upon than protected by the police. I cannot say many crimes didn't happen or how many lives, including police officers' lives, may have been saved thanks to Chief White's personal diplomacy. But without fear of contradiction, I will say that Chief White's words and deeds diffused some lingering tensions, often along racial lines.

Meanwhile, I don't envision a day when all within the rank-and-file will cheer every decision made by their chief. But it is time to permanently retire the either/or mentality, which says that a chief of police cannot simultaneously be sensitive to the public and to the needs and concerns of the men and women directly under his or her command.

I'm Betty Baye and that's my Point of View.

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