LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

Fischer insists Louisville is safe in contentious radio interview

Jeffersontown PD’s chief dismissed Mayor Fischer’s claims, saying LMPD officers are leaving for other departments in droves


Despite a more than 100% increase in the number of homicides and shootings in Louisville, Mayor Greg Fischer told a local radio host the city is "safe."

The interview between Fischer and Terry Meiners on WHAS Radio was contentious and outraged dozens of officers who said the violence in the city is real.

A perceived lack of leadership by Fischer was what Meiners cited as a reason for the sharp increase in violence and a depleted police force.

"What type of leadership support would you like to see?" Fischer asked Meiners.

"Many police officers contacted me today and said it's a lack of leadership and that's what worried them," Meiners responded. "There's no respect for law enforcement and it endangers the lives of every person who puts on a badge and goes out and just does their job."

"Well, that's a ridiculous assertion, so if you have some kind of specifics beyond a comment like that, please share that with us," Fischer said.

Fischer also insisted the city is safe, despite a record-breaking number of shootings, homicides and car-jackings.

"The odds of someone being just a random victim and a victim of violent crime and gun crime are low statistically, that's what you see," Fischer said. "We don't know what happened with Deputy Shirley ... but we're going to find out."

Fischer said other cities are also experiencing a rise in gun violence.

"That's something that unfortunately is happening that's concentrated in few select areas of town," the mayor said.

Fischer noted Louisville's crime statistics and maps are available for anyone to see online.

The interview continued with Fisher contradicting Jeffersontown Police Chief Rick Sanders, who said he received more than 100 applications, mostly from LMPD, for two of his job openings because the officers don't feel supported at Louisville's police department.

"'Nah, I don't buy that at all," Fischer said. "Chief Sanders had the lowest paid police in the state when he was in charge of the Kentucky State Police, so he knows something about low pay."

According to Sanders, Jeffersontown's high officer salary is thanks to the city's leadership, which is why the department is now one of the best paid departments in the area.

"That's again a reflection of the support we are getting from our mayor," Sanders said.

The JTown police chief added that the pay and benefits are only part of the reason why officers are hoping to leave LMPD to snag a position there. He noted that LMPD officers are leaving to go work for other departments in Bardstown, St. Matthews, Mt. Washington and Shepardsville.

During the interview with Meiners, Fischer added that Jeffersontown Police "pick off" from LMPD after the officers are trained by Louisville's department.

Sanders didn't deny that.

"It's true, we take officers," Sanders said. "That's because those officers can't wait to leave LMPD and got to a department where they feel like they are appreciated and supported."

Fischer also denied that officers booed him and walked out during roll call in June 2020. However, WAVE 3 News obtained the videos showing the incident, provided by multiple officers who said they walked out in protest of the mayor.

Fischer told Meiners that was mis-reported.