Council Panel Discusses Police Court Absences

by Rick Howlett on April 14, 2010

The problem of police failing to show up for court testimony was the focus of a hearing Wednesday by the Louisville Metro Council committee.

The matter was first spotlighted in a Courier-Journal report last year that said scores of cases had to be dismissed because of officer absenteeism.

A recent follow-up report found some improvement but said the problem persists.

LMPD Assistant Chief Vince Robison is in charge of improving the system.

He says in most cases, officers miss court though no fault of their own, due to late subpoenas, conflicting court dates or other scheduling problems.

“And I think (some) officers miss court because they didn’t do the right thing. I’m not going to excuse everybody,” he said.

Robison says there has been dramatic improvement in the system since last year. An audit proces is in place to track absences, prosecutors are working to insure officers’ testimony is absolutely necessary before calling them to court, and a new e-subpoena system will be up and running soon.

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