LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad was in Louisville Metro Council's hot seat to talk traffic stops again Wednesday afternoon.
This time, however, he got a warmer reception, and the new policy he brought with him did too.
"It was clear to me that we needed to do something different -- something better," Conrad told Metro Council's public safety committee.
"I will say, I'm appreciative of this step," Councilwoman Jessica Green (D-District 1) said in response. "It lets me know you're hearing what people are saying."
Conrad definitely heard a lot last time he sat before the committee.
Back in April, council blasted LMPD's traffic stop policy that targeted violent crime in certain neighborhoods, mainly in the West End, with thousands of stops. Most of them didn't result in arrests.
That policy was marked with multiple controversial moments. Most notably, some on the council expressed disgust after watching a viral body camera video of a black teen pulled over and even handcuffed after he made a wide turn.
"Councilman Hollander may have summed it up best," Conrad said Wednesday. "He said, 'Chief, you may have made the city safer, but what good is it if you've made everybody mad in the process?'"
Now, LMPD is training on a brand new policy, which raises the threshold for pulling someone over in a number of ways.
"We don't want people just on a fishing expedition because you live west of 9th Street," Green said.
Councilwoman Green was pleased by the changes, but not everyone was.
"We would never ask our fire department -- as the fire gets bigger and hotter and rages on -- to put less water on it," said Councilman Mark Fox, (D-District 13).
Fox worries the decrease in stops -- already down 44-percent -- will mean fewer guns and drugs are taken off the streets.
As a counter argument to that point, Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith (D-District 4) brought statistics to make a case against the former traffic stop policy. She said the stats she requested and analyzed showed a firearm was confiscated in only one out of every 100 stops. Drugs were confiscated in every five of 100. Additionally, Sexton Smith pointed out that African Americans were twice as likely to be searched as whites.
Conrad said officers began training on the new policy last week. It will take full effect in August.
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