If you doubt that Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad has the most thankless job in local government, you really should read last Thursday’s In Depth story by reporter Jason Riley at WDRB.com. It tells how the Chief was recently forced by court order to promote an officer -- with what Riley charitably calls a "checkered past" -- to sergeant, simply because of seniority. 

This is ridiculous. No CEO should ever be forced to favor longevity over actual job performance in determining promotions. If they were, they’d never hang onto their best employees for long. But the Chief has to live with this handicap, while still being criticized by many for not doing enough to reduce Louisville’s murder rate.

There must have been officers who deserved that promotion much more than a guy who lost evidence in a felony case and lied about it six times under oath -- a year AFTER being charged with disorderly conduct and wanton endangerment in a separate case. But the decision was taken completely out of the Chief’s hands.

For any leader to be effective in his job, he has to be leading people who are the best at THEIR jobs – not just those with the most tenure.  But Chief Conrad doesn’t have that luxury. So you might want to cut him a little slack the next time you think he’s the problem here.

I’m Bill Lamb and that’s my Point of View.

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