Fischer Determines Process for Hiring New Chief, Would Prefer Candidate Be Familiar With LMPD

by Gabe Bullard on November 14, 2011

The search for a new chief of the Louisville Metro Police Department will require two expert panels, 26 community meetings, outside help from a local institute and a written position paper.

Mayor Greg Fischer outlined the search process today, adding that he would prefer the city’s next police chief be promoted from within the department or be otherwise familiar with the LMPD.

“Several [current officers] have been trained to be ready for a position like this. Ideally, one of them will rise to the top,” he says. “Now, that being said, we’re going through a process that will determine that. So by far and away, there’s no pre-determined outlook here on who this is going to be and these processes usually result in some surprises.”

The Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville will lead the search.

Citizen input. Meetings will be held by each council member in their district and SPI will use data from those gatherings to develop common community concerns. In addition, a 15 to 20 person panel of criminal justice officials and stakeholders — including the Fraternal Order of Police — will be asked for their input.

Profile position paper. Each applicant for the chief job will be required to submit an extensive paper in which he or she answers questions about leadership, strategic planning, crime control, community policing and involvement, among other things.

Assessment team. A four member team – consisting of two police chiefs (active or retired), a CEO who is a member of the Police Foundation Board and SPI Professor Cynthia Shain — will screen all applicants and recommend five to the Mayor. Only the names of the five recommended applicants will be made public.

Mayor’s interview. The mayor — along with his top advisors — will interview the five finalists and make a decision.

Current Chief Robert White will leave early next month to become the chief of police in Denver. White was appointed from outside of Louisville in 2003. He then helped merge the city and county police departments. Fischer says the merger required an outsider’s perspective. But now that the consolidation is complete, the mayor hopes to find someone locally with the qualities he’s looking for in a chief.

“Some knowledge of Louisville, some knowledge of LMPD…they do not have to be necessarily employed by LMPD right now, but somebody who’s not cold to the community,” says Fischer. If we were in a turnaround situation we might be looking at different options here, but we’re not.”

White’s last week is the week of December 5th. Fischer will appoint an interim before then and he hopes to hire a new chief by April.

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