LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – There’s a new top leader of the Audubon Park Police Department.
Former LMPD Lieutenant Doug Sweeney will begin his new position as Chief of Police on Monday. This comes after the former chief left the department amid discrimination and harassment complaints.
Within the past six months, the Audubon Park Police Department faced a lawsuit from a former officer and lost their police chief of two years Jeffery Cox.
“There were some issues,” said Daniel Stephen, a resident of the neighborhood. “I’m not aware of all of them. There were some problems and the residents were upset about it.”
One resident we spoke to also noticed some questionable spending.
“Over the last few years, we’ve noticed the department buying a lot of things,” said Audubon Park resident Jason Lambdin. “They have a mobile command center, they have, basically, highway class interceptors. For a residential neighborhood, it’s always seemed a little suspicious.”
The lawsuit against the department was filed by former officer Kile Nave. Nave claimed he was fired from the department for being gay. The Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission agreed, saying he was discriminated against for his sexual orientation.
“When the extent of the corruption came out, we were all kind of surprised,” said Lambdin. “But, we’ve gotten a good feeling from the new fellow. He has already sold a few of the cars.”
The new guy is a familiar face around Louisville. Doug Sweeney picked up a few part time shifts with the Audubon Park Police Department after retiring from his post as a Lieutenant with the Louisville Metro Police Department at the end of July 2013.
“The more I was here and got to know the neighbors and residents and officers in the department, other employees, the more I liked it,” Sweeney said.
When Cox left the department, Sweeney was urged by colleagues to step up.
“I like the residents, I like the council, I like the challenges this job presented,” he explained. “Put my name in the hat and I was fortunate enough to be selected.”
Residents say they’re hopeful for the future with Chief Sweeney at the helm.
“As far as police coverage goes, it’s getting better,” said Stephen. “But, in the past, a week would go by and you’d not see a police officer in a small neighborhood, which is a problem. So, you know, our taxes pay for that and it’s about time for a change. Things are looking better.”
Acting Chief Sweeney is expected to be confirmed by the full council later in the month.