New report says LMPD needs better management of personnel resour - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New report says LMPD needs better management of personnel resources

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Louisville Metro Police Department is “adequately staffed” but should change some of its methods for scheduling and staffing officers in some areas to better use its resources, according to an independent analysis released on Friday.

The study began last November after elected leaders raised questions about the number of officers on patrol in the wake of last year's youth mob attacks on the waterfront.

The study often praised the department, noting that a review of the data and input form citizens revealed “a very professional organization and staff, one that is highly respected by the community” that has implemented “cutting edge” programs.

However, the study also concluded that schedules for officers were “not well aligned” with the workload and the department should focus on areas with the highest demand of calls from citizens, which can change from day to day.

The department should monitor which area the most calls are coming from and “reassign staff based on changing patterns of activity,” according to the study, which reviewed data from Nov. 1, 2013 to October 31, 2014.

During that time, the busiest area for police was the 4th Division, which includes Beechmont, Germantown, Iroquois, Old Louisville, Schnitzelburg, Shelby Park and the Smoketown neighborhoods. There were 96,304 calls for service, compared with 54,724 in the 5th Division, an area that encompasses Bardstown Road and Frankfort Avenue.

The number of calls also varied by the hour of day and day of the week.

Metro Council leaders in both parties pushed last year for an independent analysis of how many officers the city needs -- what's known as “authorized strength.”

Alexander Weiss Consulting noted in its study that as of January 1, the department had 1,531 members, including 963 officers. While Weiss made no recommendations about increased staffing, it did propose that LMPD:

  • Use a more aggressive approach in dealing with false alarms. The department spent nearly 13,000 work hours dealing with false burglar alarms during the study period. 
  • Use more online crime reporting from citizens, instead of dealing with each complaint in a phone call. 
  • Adopt a new work schedule that calls for officers to work six days on, two days off for eight hours a day. 
  • When possible, use civilian staff to perform the duties that don't require police authority. 
In March, the consulting firm conducted eight focus groups with citizens and community leaders, finding “overwhelming positive” attitudes toward the police department.

“There was no evidence of strong tensions between citizens and the police,” according to the report. “Overall, it was apparent that citizens actually really like and trust the police department.”

The study pointed out, however, that there was a consistent concern among citizens as to how to best reach the department to share information and what, if anything, police did when they were contacted.

Researchers recommended LMPD use more foot and bike patrols to interact with citizens and use more social media to engage with the public.

Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad released the following statement with the report:

“Our goal is to make a decision on each of the recommendations in the near future and the implement before the end of summer. I believe the enactment of those decisions will result in more efficient use of police resources, compliment the LMPD's community outreach efforts, and support our core mission of preventing and reducing crime.”

You can read the entire study here

More: Consulting firm to start review of LMPD staffing

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