LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

Police chief to shake up patrol officers' shifts


Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad said he intends to change the work shifts of hundreds of patrol officers by the end of the summer, a move he says would increase the number of patrol officers working on any given shift.

He called the shift a "very, very significant" change, one that will be negotiated between LMPD command staff and the River City Fraternal Order of Police, which represents about 1,200 LMPD members.

His announcement comes after a staffing review of the Louisville Metro Police Department released Friday concluded that, while the number of officers on the force is adequate, the way they are scheduled is "inefficient" and the approximate 800 patrol officers are not "well aligned" with their workload.

"It's been a long time since we've seen this type of a change," Conrad said. "That's why it's so important we work with the FOP leadership."

In the aftermath of the downtown youth violence of March 2014, community and Louisville Metro Council members were left questioning if there were enough police officers on the force. From those discussions came the $68,000 staffing study, conducted by Illinois-based Alexander Weiss Consulting.

"Based on our analysis, the department appears to be adequately staffed," the study concluded. The department has an authorized strength of 1,281 sworn personnel, a number Conrad said was the result of when the city and county police departments merged more than a decade ago and their sworn members were summed.

The department's funded strength in the current fiscal year - 1,260 sworn personnel - is rarely achieved, Conrad said, given small, frequent fluctuations in staffing, due in part to attrition that costs the force an average of 70 sworn members each year. As of late May, LMPD had 1,231 sworn personnel, with 26 new recruits set to begin the academy in June.

He estimates LMPD will end this fiscal year with 1,247 sworn personnel, compared to 1,242 in 2014 and 1,224 in 2013.

FOP president Dave Mutchler said he was overall pleased with the report but that he was hoping there would be more detail in its recommendations and further discussion about the entire strength of the force.