Chief Conrad explains LMPD schedule changes to Metro Council lea - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Chief Conrad explains LMPD schedule changes to Metro Council leaders

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LMPD Chief Steve Conrad address Louisville Metro Council on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. LMPD Chief Steve Conrad address Louisville Metro Council on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad presented a plan to meant on optimizing the use of police officers to members of Louisville Metro Council Wednesday.

LMPD is making several changes to the way officers’ are scheduled and what shifts they work. Currently, most officers work 10-hour shifts, four days a week. It was announced earlier this month that officers would now move to eight-hour shifts, five days a week.

The study, which was first commissioned in November, pointed to the advantages and disadvantages of the change. It was completed in May by Alexander Weiss Consulting.

“It's important with staffing that we have not only enough officers but that we have them at the right places at the right times,” Conrad said at Wednesday’s Public Safety Committee meeting. “If we're going to be effective to address crime.”

The study says during a work week with 10-hour shifts only about 57 percent of officers on each shift are assigned to work. On those eight-hour shift weeks, around 71 percent of officers are on duty. Chief Conrad says this was the primary motivation in making the switch.

“We have adequate number of officers in all of our divisions,” Conrad said. “The numbers that we showed represented the fewest number of officers that would be assigned to those divisions.”

Some members of Metro Council had concerns with the way these numbers were presented on Wednesday. In Conrad’s presentation, he said the minimum number of officers required in each of LMPD’s eight divisions would change. The 5th, 7th and 8th divisions would see a drop in the amount of minimum officers. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th divisions would see an increase.

“I think there is just going to be some unhappiness out there that they're going to lose what they feel is already not a big enough staff load,” said Metro Council’s Julie Denton (R-19) whose includes a large part of LMPD’s 8th division.

There were also concerns about how the number of officers may dip below the minimum when there are special events going on that may require additional officers.

“Special events do come up,” Conrad explained. “We had 104 of them last year. The Derby happens every year.”

But Councilman James Peden (R-21), whose district includes parts of LMPD’s 7th division, interrupted Conrad.

“I’m not debating any of that,” Peden said. “Point is, you stood here and said, 'that’s the minimum number of people required to do a job’ and now you just said we have built in situations where they're not going to be there.”

Conrad briefly addressed the changes coming to the VIPER unit as well. That unit will be dissolved and instead a new 9th mobile division will be created. This did not create any discussion amongst councilmembers on Wednesday.

The scheduling changes are set to go into effect on Sept. 27.

Previous: LMPD Memo announces change to 8-hour shifts in all divisions 

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