LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department
Updated: Monday, May 10th, 2010

Waiting On Metro-Safe...


Call me a skeptic, call me a Doubting Thomas, and tell me I have no faith in the system, but I'll believe it when I see it. We have been waiting patiently for a unified radio system for the Police Department for years. For 3 ½ years now we have been one merged Police Department. The problem is we still have the same 2 radio systems that both former Departments ran off of. The call them Urban Channel (Former LPD) and Suburban Channel (Former JCPD).

I ride a "border beat" in old City District, excuse me Suburban Division that runs up against a former County District. When we first merged, we realized that the changeover would not be instantaneous, but after plodding along for 3 1/2 years now it is gotten ridiculous. I can't communicate with the officers riding one beat away nay even one street away. Last week while patrolling my beat I happened to notice down the street on Bardstown Road a bunch of police lights. I drove my cruiser down there and found that a business had just been robbed one block away from where I was patrolling and that and I knew nothing about it! Not only could I possibly have done something due to my proximity to the crime, but as an Officer Safety issue I should have been told about it.

Are you beginning to get the picture? It's the old adage, "the left and doesn't know what the right hand is doing!" The foot dragging by Metro Government is going to get a citizen or police officer hurt or worse. We have money apparently for lots of warm and fuzzy projects but not for raises or equipment. I'm tired of hearing the same old "BS" from the mayor's office and his gaggle of spokespeople. The safety of the community should have always been the number one priority of this administration. It's taken a back burner to pet projects and other nonsense.We took a 0% raise our first-year merger like most other Metro employees because Mayor Abramson told everyone we couldn't afford raises in our new fledgling government.  Our next year we get a 2% raise (the cost of living of course was much higher). This year we can expect in July another massive 2% raise! Woo Hoo !

Recently we learned that the cost of MetroSafe could skyrocket.  Emergency management executive director Doug Hamilton who has been overseeing the MetroSafe project from the ground up described "sole bidder" Motorola's bid on the project as "Grossly overpriced, exceeding almost twice our expectation." Let's examine that one line," sole bidder"???? I thought all contracts had to have a minimum number of bidders (three?) Yet it seems that once again we have contracts being handed out in the "good old boys standard" that this administration has been famous for.

As a student of history I learned that the Phoenicians kept their sources of raw material secret so that no one else could deliver the goods that they did thus giving them a lock on the market.  In a free market society like ours we can choose who we buy from and what we buy because there is competition.  Is there not anyone else out there other than Motorola? Don't get me wrong, Motorola makes a good product, but this country is based on free enterprise and if you don't have a competitor then the quote "sole bidder" can pretty much charge anything he wants to can't he?

This isn't the only contract that is been mishandled this way and I'm sure it will not be the last. But this is one of the most important issues that Metro Government should have handled from day one and they have dropped the ball on it! The lame excuses have got to end. I want one radio system the works and I want it now. Why wasn't the construction of these towers done three and a half years ago? Why hasn't a system been implemented yet?

We were told it would be 2005, then 2006 and most recently 2007. I said my opening I'll believe it when I see it.