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'We're committed to reforming how we police': LMPD chief discusses reform efforts

Reforms are key part of a recently announced tentative contract between the city and LMPD FOP that also gives raises to street cops, sergeants and lieutenants.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The call for reform at LMPD has been loud. Some actions were taken right away, days after the $12 million settlement with Breonna Taylor's mother.

LMPD Chief Erika Shields was invited to explain where things stand. She says recruiting of diverse officers is key and understanding the neighborhoods.

"We have to go to these cities that have larger African American populations. We have to put forward a concerted effort to resonate with African Americans," Shields said.

Reforms are key part of a recently announced tentative contract between the city and LMPD FOP that also gives raises to street cops, sergeants and lieutenants.

"Police should not be on the frontline of mental health care. We should not be the frontline of addressing the homelessness issue. This is where police have gotten into a lot of trouble," Shields said.

Those reforms include increased discipline, mandatory alcohol and drug testing after certain incidents, and better record keeping of officer wrongdoing.

But the biggest challenge is the one America and Louisville both face in reckoning over race and police.

"No one wants to live with people getting shot on their street. The idea that we're not wanted in communities, I don't agree with. I think what's not wanted is certain types of policing, and we're committed to reforming how we police," Shields said.

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