Louisville's police chief talks about first year on the job - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville's police chief talks about first year on the job

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)---Chief Steve Conrad is no stranger to the community.

"I think God every day for the opportunity to be here," says Chief Steve Conrad.

The Louisville native has more than 33 years of experience in law enforcement.

He's a UofL grad and began his career with LMPD in 1980.

He worked his way through the ranks and was named assistant Chief in 2003, along with serving as merger manager.

"It was my job to lead and organize the effort for the merger of the city and county department," says Chief Conrad.

Soon after, he took a job as police chief in Glendale, Arizona, and during that time dealt with something that is still difficult to talk about.

In two separate incidents, he lost two officers in the line of duty.

"Probably the only two bad days I truly had in Glendale," says Chief Conrad.

He continued to keep tabs on the Louisville community, and LMPD.

He says, when the job for Chief of Police opened up, he had no doubt at all that he would apply.

On February 21st, 2012, Mayor Greg Fischer announced Steve Conrad as LMPD's new chief.

He took over in March and by May 17th was dealing with a major double-shooting within the Parkland community.

Four people died that day. Chief Conrad was there, as shots rang out the second time.

"I was not all that far away from the crime scene tape when we heard the commotion that resulted in the second shooting- and the officer-involved shooting," says Chief Steve Conrad.

Changes would soon follow, including additional officers in crime-heavy neighborhoods, the development of the crime information center, and the creation of Louisville's Viper Unit, which is dedicated to stopping violent crimes. 

In November, another big change regarding police pursuits.

Authorities would only be able to chase suspects for violent felonies.

This came only a month after a pursuit led to a car being hit and a young mother dying. 

"I felt like because of the potential hazards and potential for serious injuries and death, it was critical that we only use that in situations where it was absolutely necessary," says Chief Conrad.

He says there's still more work to be done, that they can't arrest their way out of out of problems within the community.

He'd like to see more involvement from residents to help stop the violent crime.

He also wants to set up a Youth Advisory Committee to open communication with the youth.

Looking back on his first year, Chief Conrad says he's still learning.

If all goes the way he's planning, he'll continue to call Louisville home.

"Is this where you hope to retire from," WDRB's Tamara Evans asked.  

"Absolutely. I'm at that point in my life I am looking to do a really great job at this and if I'm lucky enough to do this right, this will be my last job," says Chief Conrad.

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