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Louisville Metro Police Department

Richard Dotson, former Louisville police chief, dies

Courier~Journal - Louisville, Kentucky
Matthew Glowicki - Courier~Journal
Richard Dotson, former Louisville police chief, dies

The former head of the Louisville Division of Police in the 1980s has died.

Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad expressed his condolences to Dotson's family Wednesday evening in a Facebook post.

"During his eight years as Chief, he was admired and respected by many," Conrad wrote. "I have the fond memory of Chief Dotson presiding over my own promotion to sergeant, a moment which will long live in my mind. As assistant chief, I had the honor of sitting across from then-Captain Dotson as he represented the Fraternal Order of Police - as President - during collective bargaining negotiations."

Dotson began his law enforcement career in 1961 and served as chief from 1982 to 1990.

He was credited at the time with restoring the image of the city's police department, which had been tarnished by scandals of Dotson's predecessor.

Dotson was removed as chief in 1990 by then-Mayor Jerry Abramson amid allegations he abused his ex-wives and sexually harassed co-workers, though Dotson denied those claims and stayed on with the department in various roles until he retired in 2003.

He then served as president of the police union in the years following the merger of county and city police departments.