LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – It's a proud moment, 24 weeks in the making. Louisville Metro recruits spend six months in the academy before it's time to hit the streets. Then it's time for those new officers to get real hands-on experience.
“How to talk to people, how to protect themselves, how to protect people how to deal with situations, how to talk to people that's very important. You cannot underestimate how important it is,” said Councilman David James, former LMPD officer.
That's why Councilman James is concerned with changes in the training schedule.
“I'm just hoping that nothing unfortunate happens with this new class that's coming out that's only going to have 16 weeks of training,” he said.
In the past, once officers graduated from the academy they would spend 24 weeks shadowing an experienced officer. The department has now cut that to only 16 weeks. The first class to experience this change just graduated on December 29.
“I'd be interested to see how many complaints of rudeness, and use of force, and use of taser come out of this class that just graduated. It'll be interesting to see,” Councilman James said.
LMPD confirmed that they are trimming the number of weeks for training but would not say why. Councilman James said it's likely the department is trying to get more officers on the streets as quickly as possible.
“What I would say to the chief is I really would ask that you re-examine your new policy because I'm very concerned about the safety of the officers and I'm very concerned about the safety of my constituents,” he said.
LMPD told us that training times vary. The department changes the policy from time and time and it also varies from department to department.