LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

New LMPD chief says no immediate changes


It's just like our first day on the job but with a lot more people watching. New Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad spent his first full day at the office Tuesday. He took a break from getting reacquainted with his department to sit down with WAVE and share his ideas about what's ahead.

Conrad spent his first day at LMPD meeting, talking and getting to know the people of Louisville all over again.

"This is a big deal to get to come home," Conrad said. "We are back amongst friends and family."

He spent 25 years as a police officer in Louisville before moving to Glendale, Arizona to become chief there.

"The men and women of that department were phenomenal to me," he said of his job in Arizona. "The men and women of that community were great to me, but at the end of the day it was not home."

He knows he'll make changes to LMPD now that he's in charge but he's not sure what those changes are yet. Conrad says he doesn't want to come in and start changing things immediately. Surveys are ongoing of current LMPD staff members to get their opinions. The top command staff at the department remains in place.

"I think people will remain in the positions unless they chose to leave or they have some problems that we're not able to overcome through training, coaching, counseling, whatever it may be but at this point, I am thrilled with the work of the command staff here," he said.

He says he's a different person from former Chief Robert White, who he calls a mentor. He says White's job was to merge the Louisville and Jefferson County police departments. Conrad says merger is behind Louisville and he's looking to the future.

"We do things very, very well but I'm looking for excellence and I'm not looking to change it, I'm looking to make it better," Conrad said.

The new chief is aware some people wanted White's successor to also be a minority, but believes Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer was looking for whomever was the best person for the job.

"I'd like to think that I am that person and it's my job to make sure that I reach out to all segments of our community," he said.

Conrad knows it's not the last time the race issue will come up but says he's prepared to deal with it.

"Right is right and wrong is wrong and it's my job to stand up and at least take a stand on each one of those situations and at the end of the day, I am ultimately responsible and accountable for the actions of all of the people who work here," he said. "We'll answer for what we do right, what we do wrong and in situations where we do come up short, it's my job to make sure that we have a plan to avoid similar mistakes in the future."