LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

Thanks Mr Mayor...


I don't know what the final results on the ordinance that the Metro Council tried to pass several weeks ago regarding the negation of the sale of Southfield's training facility as surplus property, but I know for sure that from the very beginning it's been a huge mistake.

Here is a brief history of the Southfield's training academy. Southfield was deeded to Jefferson County Government to be used as a training facility by the Jefferson County Police Department and a set up as a trust for that purpose. The Jefferson County Police Department conducted all of the training for new recruits and in-service for veteran officers along with driving and firearms training at the 60 acre location on Flat Rock Road. When training facility was built there was very little development out in that end of the County. We all know what eastern Jefferson County looks like now. It's no longer possible, excuse me popular to train police officers in a "High End" subdivision, it doesn't matter that the police training grounds were there first.

When the City of Louisville and Jefferson County merged in 2003 newly elected Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson decided he would sell the property as surplus in order to gain revenue. I am very suspicious of this simply because I've seen too many shady deals made of this nature by this Mayor. It seems they will get l less than 2 million on the deal and have to pay for the clean up and disposal of the lead from the range. If we were to price land anywhere in Jefferson County to replace this 60 acre facility it would cost a lot more than what he hopes to gain from this quick sale. It is like someone pawning the family silver for pennies on the dollar.

I remember back in the seventies when property off Newburg Road was condemned for expansion of the Louisville Zoological Gardens, but was never used and so about 10 years ago Mayor Abramson sold the land as surplus property. The original owner and developer was not given the chance to purchase the land back, after it'd been taken from him in an eminent domain deal. You will also recall the Airport expansion under Mayor Abramson's last administration. Then there is the questionable dealing with the Naval ordnance plant and the Titan industry debacle. Now it seems the Polo Fields subdivisions have run out of room and need to expand. Hmmm…... I am beginning to see a pattern here.

I would invite any of you to visit the LMPD training Academy on Taylor Boulevard, in fact I think the Metro Council should take a field trip and visit both facilities (Taylor Boulevard and Southfield's). I think they would come to the conclusion that we definitely need a training facility for recruit training and a training facility for in-service training. The training facility at Taylor Boulevard is a first-class operation, but it is not designed to handle the number of recruits (currently there are 81) and the yearly in-service training (40 hours) that every officer must go through. The building was originally designed as the LPD Training Academy and the old LPD third District. We still have the training Academy, but the third District area was given over to Metro Corrections.

Don't get me wrong, the building at Southfield's really needed be revamped. In fact if I were the architect of redesign, I would build a new classroom structure and use the current training building as a structure for training scenarios with different rooms set up for different situations like domestic violence training, SWAT training, building entry training etc.

There is a driving track at Southfield's that can be used in many different ways, but now we do all our driver training by setting up cones in a parking on Papa John's stadium. It almost 19 years of police work I have yet to see a coned track in an urban environment while patrolling my beat. The Louisville Police Department and the Jefferson County Police Department both trained on the driving track at Southfield's. I can remember taking pursuit driving courses out there, remedial driving classes, advanced driving courses and our yearly driving classes, you now have drive-through a couple of cones, back up and reverses the course and that is supposed to qualify me or more importantly a new Officer? I only hope that the Metro Council can forestall the sale of this property and take Mayor Abramson to task over yet again another failed policy of his administration.