Need for more officers acknowledged throughout city



Posted on June 11, 2014 at 7:06 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Louisville opened a brand new police station inside the Kentucky Convention Center last month. 

Officials consider the station one of the symbols of the push for safety in Louisville’s increasingly popular downtown, but the lack of officers city-wide makes it tougher for them to fully take advantage of the new station.

“[Officers] are out more on the business day and they aren’t out as much as we’d like to see them on the weekends or at night,” Chief Steve Conrad with LMPD said.  Conrad recently took park in a forum downtown about youth violence. 

Eight officers use the new station as their base to patrol downtown. Chief Conrad requested more money from the Metro Council in hopes of adding 24 new officers to LMPD. Fifteen of those officers will work out the new station and will enable the department to staff it 24/7. 

The other nine officers will be placed based on the findings of an outside study of the department’s needs.  Current crime data available on the city’s website shows the highest amount of crime occurring in the last two years happened in the West End of Louisville, but the study may highlight greater needs across the city.

“I consider Portland the forgotten neighborhood,” Tom Lannan, who has lived in Portland 78 years, said. “You ought to put a wall around 15th street.”

Lannan describes the West End as an area almost separate from the rest of the city.  He welcomes any city investment and welcomes the new police officers.

“I like the police officers, yes,” he said. "But I don’t like the idea of paying for them.”

Chief Conrad does not think adding officers is the only solution to decreasing crime. He said money is needed to jump-start many of the youth programs that have been disbanded over the years.

It's a reinvestment people like Lannan will be glad to see . . . even if they don't necessarily like the idea of paying any kind of new taxes.

“We are not going to arrest our way out of this problem,” Conrad said.