LMPD terminates officer indicted in Explorer program investigation
LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- New information on one of the Louisville Metro police officers indicted for his role in the LMPD explorer program sexual abuse scandal.
Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad announced he has fired Officer Brandon Wood after meeting with Wood earlier on Thursday.
Mayor Fischer told WHAS that he was proud of Chief Conrad for stepping up and taking the appropriate actions.
Wood is no longer a police officer and the LMPD Explorer Program which he was once a part of has been suspended, but there is an overriding belief that there may be more victims who have yet to come forward.
"We want to make sure that these terrible acts come to light so that there are justice and accountability held,” said David Yates. “At the same time, you want to protect the identity and integrity of each victim so they're not victimized again."
For the alleged victims of sexual abuse in the LMPD explorer case coming forward with their story can be the hardest part.
"It's my belief that there have been other victims of abuse,” said Yates. “There are additional people with information, and I'm asking them to please contact me. There's strength in numbers."
David Yates represents four former members of the LMPD Explorers program who claimed to have been victims of Brandon Wood and Kenneth Betts, but he believes only 2 were represented in the criminal indictment and more civil suits may be on the way.
"I believe that we'll be able to prove each and every allegation in our civil complaint,” said Yates. “Right now is the onset of the criminal investigation. I believe the indictment is a good start."
"The important thing to me is that the process continues the truth comes out, and accountability is in place and transparency is there for the community to see,” said Mayor Greg Fischer.
It's another good step in the process."
Betts and Wood are no longer part of the Louisville police force and the public integrity unit continues their investigation.
Those involved say it's imperative that every victim comes forward.
"We're continuing to discuss with individuals and families about making a move forward,” said Yates. “There's strength in numbers. This has been a very traumatic experience, and I think the steps of the criminal prosecution moving forward are positive. It's a step in the right direction."
Metro Council approved the hiring of special investigator Kerry Harvey to continue to look into the LMPD Explorer Program.
Mayor Fischer has said he wants an independent review of all city programs, but to this point, that is still in the preliminary stages.