LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In early October during a Civilian Review Board meeting, the city's inspector general said Louisville Metro Police was not cooperating, and they were unable to get certain key information and records.
Louisville Metro Council passed an ordinance in 2020 creating the inspector general position. That position is tasked with investigating complaints against LMPD, as well as reviewing their policies and procedures.
Inspector General Edward Harness said they're working through some of those challenges.
"We continue to meet with the leaders of LMPD and the administration and we're going to get those worked out," he said.
He says he wants full cooperation and "unfettered access to the information that we're required to get under the ordinance."
Harness said his last experience was in Albuquerque, and the city was already under a consent decree.
"So I had a federal court order that demanded the access that I was able to get, so it was easier because I could leverage the federal laws to get it," he said.
Harness said he believes Louisville will fall under a consent decree when the Department of Justice makes its investigation public.
When questioned on the matter on Oct. 2, an LMPD spokesperson said what Harness requested qualifies as criminal justice information services-protected information, which is "by definition, available to qualified employees of a law enforcement agency."
The spokesperson said that violations of the protocol can compromise the entire agency's access, adding the department has "reached out to CJIS for written guidance of how best to navigate this terrain without compromising the agency's standing with their organization."
Civilian Review Board Chair Kellie Watson says the board is wanting to become more visible for the public and they are here to assist.
"So if the community is experiencing, and having interactions that they feel aren't wanted, or that they have questions about, we would need for them to bring to the office of inspector general," she said.
The board operates as a liaison between the community and the police by providing transparency and accountability.
Overall the report from those on the Civilian Review Board said that it's a work in progress.
"We have wonderful support from the mayor's office now, as well as from the Metro Council and the Metro Council members who were part of drafting the ordinance that created the board," Watson said. "We would like to see that type of partnership and support continue."
The public is welcome to attend the next Civilian Review Board meeting on Nov. 30. For more information click here.
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