Kentucky State Police announce new team that will investigate officer-involved shootings
Since 2015, KSP has investigated 29 state police officer-involved shootings.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A team of experts is now investigating police shootings in the Commonwealth.
Kentucky State Police announced the new Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) in Frankfort on Wednesday morning. The unit was formed to increase transparency and build public trust.
The unit's six members have over 100 years of combined law enforcement experience.
"These six investigators will be stationed here in Frankfort and ready to respond in a moment's notice to an officer involved shooting,” Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rick Sanders said.
The CIRT unit will automatically investigate if a KSP officer is involved in a shooting. There's been 29 of those cases since 2015. The team can also investigate outside cases if invited to do so.
"In those cities where they have limited manpower and don't have the expertise to do their own investigations, we have offered our assistance to them to do the shooting investigation, and last year in 2016, we did that in 19 cases,” Sanders said.
However, the commissioner says it is unlikely LMPD would need assistance due to the size of the department.
"They have departments that are large enough, and they have the expertise within that department to handle that case," Sanders said.
A spokesperson says LMPD sees the value of using the resources of other agencies to review cases but will continue to investigate its cases independently.
KSP says the team will standardize procedures. It will also focus resources on quality fact gathering and transparent investigations statewide.
"It's a shame in this day and time that we have to come up with a unit like this," said Alex Payne, Deputy Commissioner for Kentucky State Police. "It says nothing good about our society, that we actually have the numbers across the Commonwealth of Kentucky, that we have to come up with a plan like this, but that's just the way society is right now.
"Until hearts and minds change, there's enough business out there to keep this unit going full-time."
The CIRT unit has already investigated five cases this year.
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