After conducting three public forums for District 6 residents, Councilman David James has sent the Mayor public comments and suggestions from those hearings along with a memo laying out themes heard at those meetings. “There have been very good discussions in the district with residents who have concerns and questions about the leadership of our next Police Chief,” says James. “I want to thank those who attended to let them know we are making the Mayor aware of the issues raised as the search process moves forward.”
James joined other council members for the first forum at the NIA Center on December 1st. The next forum was at the South Louisville Community Center on December 7th. The final one was held this past weekend at the Old Louisville Information Center.
Each of the forums had an open discussion period where a series of four questions were asked of residents along with an opportunity for those in attendance to explain personal qualities they’d like to see in the new Chief. The questions dealt with how effective Metro Police have been in several areas, crime prevention, public safety and community engagement.
“We saw common themes surface as we listened to what people were concerned about,” says James. “Hopefully, these comments will give the Mayor a sense of what our residents believe are important guidelines when making any consideration of a candidate.”
Those themes are:
1. To ensure transparency and openness, the finalists for the position should be requested to participate in meetings and interviews similar to those conducted by JCPS where the public is given the opportunity to meet and ask questions with those candidates.
2. LMPD needs to be more visible in each of our neighborhoods and a closer connection to officers be made by allowing for walking beats and bike patrols in each neighborhood.
3. Street Violence and Gang units should be restored as full time Metro-wide programs in LMPD. In addition, the narcotics unit should be strengthened and given the resources necessary to ensure the lives of law abiding citizens are not put at risk. The concept of using Metro wide special units as a reactionary tool as we currently provide simply does not work.
“Public Safety is my number one priority as a Metro Councilman,” said James, “so I appreciate the opportunity to share District 6 resident’s thoughts with the Mayor.”
For more information about the forum comments, contact Councilman James’ office at 574-1106.
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