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Louisville Metro Police creating full-time SWAT Division

Will also add 10 police officers, 16 narcotics detectives

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Sept. 22, 2016) — In an effort to strengthen efforts to reduce violent crime, Mayor Greg Fischer and Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad today announced a realignment of LMPD personnel, including the creation of two new police divisions.

“The desire to live in a safe and peaceful community is universal, and the increase in crime that we and cities across the country are seeing is unacceptable,” said Fischer. “We’re taking short- and long-term steps to reduce violent crime, and these changes are part of that.”

LMPD is:

  • Creating a full-time SWAT Division, which will consist of approximately 20 officers trained as SWAT operators. Previously, the department relied on a part-time team consisting of officers, detectives and commanding officers who were also assigned to other duties in the department. With an uptick in the number of SWAT calls that was becoming increasingly inefficient, Conrad said, noting that team members were frequently pulled from their normal duties, creating more work for other officers and detectives in the units where they were assigned and making it difficult to properly serve citizens. Establishing a full-time division also “allows us to more quickly deploy the officers who are most highly trained at handling the most volatile situations,” he said.
  • Using a federal Community Oriented Policing (COPS) grant to hire 10 new officers and create a separate Community Services Division, which will be focused on building relationships with citizens, particularly in the highest crime communities. This division will include the existing School Resource Officer Program, Special Event Unit and Traffic Unit, as well as a new Community Policing Unit – which will focus efforts in building trust and legitimacy in the city’s most troubled neighborhoods. The new Community Services Division will be led by Major Curtis Flaherty, who for the past three years has served as the 7th Division commander.
  • Adding approximately 16 officers to create two new squads of detectives in the Narcotics Division. “We believe narcotics’ trafficking is connected to a significant part of the violent crime we have experienced this year, which warrants the additional personnel,” the Chief said.