Gov. Matt Bevin criticizes overtime spending at LMPD in year-end - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Gov. Matt Bevin criticizes overtime spending at LMPD in year-end review

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin takes aim at the Louisville police department.

During his year-end press conference, he cited a WDRB investigation, and laid part of Louisville's crime problems at the doorstep of LMPD.

"We've got a policing problem in the city of Louisville," Bevin said at the press conference on Thursday.

Bevin was responding to the fact that Louisville will once again end the year with more than 100 homicides, referring to the WDRB investigation that showed how about two-thirds of the $1.2 million Metro Council gave to LMPD this year to address violent crime was gone by the end of February.

"People are spending taxpayer money to not address that problem, that is a problem for us to address," Bevin said. "That is something that needs to be addressed."

WDRB's investigation revealed that much of the VCR or, violent crime reduction, funding went to just a few officers who racked up enormous amounts of overtime, one officer working more than 200 hours during the first two weeks of January, and not taking a day off for nearly three months.  

In November, Chief Steve Conrad downplayed concerns about the safety of officers working that many hours.

"Other than them needing to self-monitor to make sure they're not tired," Conrad said. "But, I'm not aware of any complaints. I'm not aware of any problems."

Conrad would not comment on whether or not any ongoing investigations were occurring within the department, when asked earlier this month about a possible probe. 

In June, Bevin called for prayer patrols in troubled Louisville neighborhoods. He claims, where people are taking his advice, violent crime is down.

"Those people will tell you stories that are amazing ... about the engagement, about people now looking out for each other, about neighbors talking to each other ... about neighbors knowing who each other are that didn't previously know each other even though they were just down the street or across the street from from one another," Bevin said. "So, do I think it's making a difference? Yes. From everything I've seen and heard, absolutely."

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer issued a response to the governor's remarks on Thursday, stating: "It is sad and surprising that a governor would criticize the hard-working men and women of our Louisville Metro Police Department."

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