Mayor announces Hillard Heintze firm to perform top-to-bottom review of LMPD

July 2, 2020

Mayor Greg Fischer today announced that the Chicago-based consulting firm Hillard Heintze, a Jensen Hughes company, will perform the comprehensive, top-to-bottom review of the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) that he called for last month.

“It is clear we need to reimagine what policing looks like, and that includes taking deep, hard looks to see what’s working well, and what we can be doing better,” Mayor Fischer said. “Our next permanent police chief will be responsible for ensuring that LMPD’s policies, procedures and structure align with the goals and values of our entire city, and this review will be a vital tool in ensuring a complete understanding of the department’s strengths and weaknesses.”

Since its inception in 2004, Hillard Heintze has helped dozens of public safety and law enforcement agencies at all levels of government, and is among the nation’s leading public safety consulting firms. Among its high-profile work, Hillard Heintze helped drive the critical advancements in policing called for in the Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing: Transparency, Accountability, and Better Community Engagement. The U.S. Department of Justice chose Hillard Heintze as the sole provider for the Community Oriented Policing Services Office Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance — the largest U.S. program to advance police transformations and reform in cities and universities across the U.S.

“We’re very pleased to be asked to do this critical work,” said Ken Bouche, Hillard Heintze Chief Operating Officer. “Sound policies and procedures lie at the heart of how LMPD personnel operate every day – from engaging directly with the community, to training and supporting officers and addressing internal affairs with integrity and fairness. It’s vital that these be evaluated from an independent and objective perspective, informed by best practices in use by other departments with comparable challenges. We are very confident that the findings and recommendations emerging from this review, upon implementation, will help the Mayor, the permanent chief and every member of the Department improve services delivered to all members of the city’s communities.”

Learn more about actions taken by Mayor Fischer and others

In Louisville, the review will focus on a number of areas, which may include training in use of force and bias-free policing, as well as accountability, supervision, community engagement, and other topics. The review will also identify any obstacles in implementing changes to improve those areas. 

Hillard Heintze was selected in collaboration with Metro Council President David James.

“I feel confident that we have selected the best firm to carry out this review of LMPD,” President James said. “While we know that due to poor past leadership, LMPD has many problems that need correcting, this study can be used as a blueprint for the yet to be selected new chief to follow.”

 

Hillard Heintze will be active in gathering community feedback to ensure substantial interactions with community members, interest groups, prosecutors and defense attorneys and LMPD personnel.

 

“Public safety is a community production, and it’s key that the opinions and needs of the community, police and partners are understood as we move forward,” the Mayor said.

 

Chief survey extended        

 

Also today, Mayor Fischer announced that the community survey for residents and the internal survey for LMPD personnel to share their priorities for the next permanent police chief will be extended through Friday, July 17. Nearly 9,000 people have completed the online version of the survey, which can be accessed at https://arcg.is/18fTnS.

Residents can also call (502) 528-3543 from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. through Friday to participate. They will be assisted by call-takers who will input their answers to questions on a community survey, which has been available online since early this month.

The survey asks:

  • What are the three most important qualities or skills you would like to see in the next police chief;
  • What are suggestions for improving police services; and
  • What a new chief must accomplish immediately, and over the next 2-3 years.

“I’m encouraging everyone in our community, especially those who feel strongly about police policies, to participate in the process to hire a new permanent chief by calling or completing the online survey,” Mayor Fischer said.  

The city has contracted with the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a non-profit Washington, D.C.-based police research organization, to conduct the search. 

In addition to the survey, PERF and Metro Government are holding listening sessions over the next month with various focus groups across the community. PERF will review and analyze all the information residents provide, to help identify the qualities and characteristics needed for the city’s permanent police chief. They will use that information to conduct a national search and create a list of qualified candidates. Louisville Metro Police officers are also being surveyed.

Since its founding in 1976, PERF has identified best practices on fundamental issues, such as reducing police use of force; developing community policing and problem-oriented policing; using technologies to deliver police services to the community; and evaluating crime reduction strategies.

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