Jeffersonville Mayor demotes police chief, appoints replacement - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Jeffersonville Mayor demotes police chief, appoints replacement

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jeffersonville has a new police chief after Chris Grimm was fired as chief, according to Mayor Mike Moore.

We are told that Grimm, who has served as chief since 2012, has been demoted to Lieutenant.

“I am thankful and grateful to Chris for his hard work and commitment, but it was time for a new direction in the police department,” Mayor Moore said in a statement Monday night.

Some city council members say they were surprised Grimm was removed as chief. Councilman Dennis Julius, who's running for mayor of Jeffersonville, says the council had no indication this change was coming. 

"I think we need to have better communication always and we've said that all along," Julius told WDRB News. "This isn't the first letting go that this mayor's had. On redevelopment, he's let many people go. So, ya know, if they don't agree with him, he lets them go." 

Moore says Kenny Kavanaugh, a 21-year veteran of the department, will replace Grimm as Chief.

“Kenny brings with him a vast amount of experience and energy,” said Moore. “I look forward to the new direction his leadership will take the department.”

Kavanaugh is a lifelong resident of Jeffersonville and during this tenure with the department, he served as SWAT commander and Detective with the Drug Task Force.

“It is a privilege to serve as the new Police Chief for the City of Jeffersonville,” said Kavanaugh who becomes the first African American to lead the city's police department. “We have an outstanding department with the finest officers. It's a team that goes to work everyday to make Jeffersonville a safer place."

City Council President Lisa Gill says she looks forward to working with the new chief. 

"I've got true confidence that he'll lead the police department in this new direction that the mayor wishes to go. So I've got complete confidence in him," Gill said. 

WDRB reported on Kavanaugh in 2012 after a bar patron claimed that two off-duty officers -- including Kavanaugh -- got into a fight with him at the Lighthouse Restaurant and Lounge.

However, a police investigation found that the bar patron had threatened to use a knife against the officers.

The prosecutor cleared both officers and said their actions were justified as they were protecting themselves.

The Jeffersonville Police Department has 77 Officers and recently opened a new headquarters on Tenth Street.

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