Chief White confirms job prospect, Mayor praises his achievements


Posted on March 9, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 9 at 6:27 PM

Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11) - Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert White is confirming that he is a finalist for the police chief's position in Dallas.

Mayor Abramson said, “He has united our police force and our citizens as a crime-fighting team to make Louisville one of the safest large cities in America.”

White said, “I am pleased to be considered a finalist for the position of chief of police with the Dallas police department. “

In the statement, Chief Robert White said:

“While this is an honor, it is important to note that I am very proud of the accomplishments we have made since the merger and believe there is still much work to be done. I remain fully committed to the citizens of metro Louisville and the men and women of LMPD."

White told WHAS11 last year he would consider the chief job in only about a half-dozen cities outside Louisville.  White is one of six finalists for the Dallas job.

He says he's contacted about one a month about police chief openings across the country. 

He said, “(I) decided not to take any of them.  I put in for one, which is Chicago.  (It) didn't go the way I thought it was going to go or was told it was going to go.  Other than that, I haven't accepted the challenge."

The Louisville Metro Police Department is the 22nd largest in the country with 1,200 sworn officers and nearly 400 civilian personnel.

The Dallas Police Department is about 2.5 times larger with 3,640 sworn officers and 556 civilians.

In a statement, Mayor Jerry Abramson said:

"Robert White is one of America's best police chiefs...  Personally, I hope he remains in Louisville until he's too old to carry a gun."

In a September interview, WHAS11's Rachel Platt asked White about his record as chief.

White said he regrets early on not connecting better with rank and file officers, but added that the department has greatly improved.

White said, “our dept is much more engaged with our community. We’re much more transparent. We have greater credibility and all of those things are absolutely necessary in order to have a community that is freer of crime.”

Dallas’ community-policing model credited with helping drive down the city's crime rate.

The next chief will also face a tightening budget and an expanding force.

White says he wants to hold off retirement another five years, and would be open to working in the next administration.

White is one of about 115 metro employees who could be replaced by a new mayor.