Battle brewing over future home of LMPD

LMPD in serious need of new headquarters

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The aging LMPD headquarters has been a problem for a while, and now some on Metro Council say they won’t approve funding for big projects until one is taken care of.

Louisville Mayor had proposed leasing a building on 7th Street, but the council members David James and Angela Leet say LMPD needs a new public safety complex that the city owns.

Until the council gets answers as to what the future holds for LMPD they're willing to put other major projects on old.

“What we have now is a facility that they’re not able to fully utilize because there’s environmental contamination within the space, and they’ve had to close down areas of the building,” said Councilwoman Leet.

“Not only do we need a police headquarters we also need a new jail,” said Councilman David James.  “As you know we’re releasing people incarcerated for murder because the jail is full.  We just need a new public safety complex.”

Angela Leet, and David James, are part of a bipartisan group threatening to table all capital projects in the city until Mayor Fischer develops a plan for a new LMPD headquarters.

However, according to spokesman Chris Poynter: “The mayor put $1.8-million in the current budget to lease a new police headquarters.  Council removed that funding when it voted on the budget.”

“Twice we’ve been presented with a lease option for a police headquarters which doesn’t make any logical sense,” said Leet.

“That’s really not the most efficient use of our tax dollars,” said James.  “We need a police headquarters that our city owns and operates.”

After eliminating the mayor’s proposal Metro Council provided $100,000 for a study to determine the best path forward on a potential LMPD move, but Leet says to date none of that money has been spent by the mayor’s office.

 “I would say he has drug his feet,” said Leet.

By moving forward with this resolution Leet and James hope they can force the mayor’s hand.

“We have tens of thousands of square feet of space that we’re paying for already as taxpayers that are aren’t being utilized,” said Leet.

“I’m hoping that the mayor’s office thinks that this is important enough that they get this process moving along,” said James.

The resolution must still pass the budget committee before it heads to the full council.

James says he is confident it will come to a vote before the end of the year.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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