Louisville’s new police chief: Steve Conrad [Opinion: The Arena]

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Steve Conrad, Louisville's new Police Chief

Back in November, we told readers that Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer was looking around for a new police chief to replace Robert White, who moved on to head Denver’s police department.  Today at a 10:30 press conference, Fischer announced the selection of Steve Conrad to fill the post.

Steve Conrad newzap-com.jpgConrad has been the chief in Glendale, Arizona since 2005, and is a 32 year law enforcement veteran; starting as a patrol officer with the former Louisville Police Department in 1980. He worked his way through the ranks rising to assistant chief in LPD and later an assistant chief in the merged LMPD.

A graduate of Ballard High School and the University of Louisville, Conrad said that he was “excited to be back” to serve his hometown.  Outlining his goals, he stated, “It is my belief that Louisville can be the safest city in America.”  Fischer commended his new police chief for his “authentic, no-drama nature,” calling him a “team builder, and a strong communicator.”

Mayor Fischer stressed the value of Conrad’s experience in Louisville, noting that “Steve knows how to pronounce ‘Dumesnil.’”  He indicated that Conrad will assume his new duties on March 19, and that interim Police Chief Ishmon Burkes will then move over into the Mayor’s Office to serve as Chief Administrative Office, replacing William Summers, who is retiring.

The city hired the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville to lead the selection process.  “The hiring of a new chief is an important and critical decision and I want as much input as possible,” Fischer said. “The police institute has wide respect and can help ensure we get the best candidates.”

police chief finalists.jpgMayor Fischer selected five finalists for the chief’s job:

  •     Steve Conrad, Chief of Police in Glendale, Arizona and former LMPD assistant chief;
  •     Yvette Gentry, LMPD Deputy Chief/ Patrol Services Commander;
  •     Rick Sanders, Chief of the Jeffersontown Police Department;
  •     Glenn Skeens, Chief of Police in Owensboro, KY
  •     Vincent Robison, LMPD Deputy Chief and Chief of Staff.

LMPD_2.jpgFischer personally interviewed all five, saying when their names were announced, “We have five very solid candidates, and I look forward to hearing directly from them about their goals and visions for the LMPD.”

Today, the Mayor observed, “Any of the five finalists would have made a fine chief, but Steve Conrad rose to the top of the list.”

FULL DISCLOSURE:  Steve Conrad and I are old friends, since the time we worked together when I was Legal Adviser to the old Louisville Division of Police.  In my view, Mayor Fischer could not have made a better choice.

Chief Conrad’s resume (.pdf)

UPDATE:  WDRB reports:

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Louisville.com's The Arena section features opinions from active participants in the city's politics. Their viewpoints are not those of Louisville.com (a website is an inanimate object and, as such, has no opinions).  The Arena is read by more people in Louisville than in any other city in America.  Photo credits:  WDRB, City of Louisville, newzap.com.

 

About Thomas McAdam
At various times I have been a student, a soldier, a college Political Science teacher, a political campaign treasurer, and legal adviser to Louisville's Police Department and Board of Aldermen. I now practice law and share my political opinions with anyone who will listen.
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