City hiring outside expert to determine number of officers need - WDRB 41 Louisville News

City hiring outside expert to determine number of officers need to fully staff LMPD

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- City leaders are working on a plan to determine exactly how many officers are needed on Louisville's streets.

The city's taxpayers will fund a study to determine the appropriate size of the police force in Metro Louisville. City leaders expect to release a proposal to hire an expert by June and hope to see the results by September.

Louisville Councilman David James has been appointed to the work group that will oversee the study. He says he does not yet know how much the study will cost.

In the aftermath of the teenage violence at the waterfront and downtown in late March, the River City Fraternal Order of Police exposed how LMPD has consistently operated under its recommended authorized strength -- 1,281 officers -- suggesting the manpower simply does not exist to appropriately beef up security in problem areas of the city.

There's been debate about how may officers the city actually has. LMPD Chief Steve Conrad says there are currently 1,211 officers on the force; the FOP says there are 1,169.

The new expert will determine how are many officers the city needs. When asked how the expert will arrive at the appropriate number, James said, "I think it will be a lot of things. I think it'll be crime statistics, calls for service, areas of need. I also think there should be a community component involved in that, in which different members of the community come and talk to the experts." 

James says that many people in the community have asked for more officers to patrol on bicycles and on foot, but that "we're unable to fulfill that right now because we don't have enough officers."

If the expert agrees LMPD is not appropriately staffed, the next question becomes how to pay for more officers.

We'll have more on that question today on WDRB News at 4.

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