Mayor Fischer: Any allegations of child abuse against LMPD and all Metro employees will be reported to the state
Mayor also urges legislators to act next session on strengthening state law
Mayor Greg Fischer said today that he was disappointed that the Kentucky General Assembly had declined to strengthen the state’s reporting requirements in cases of child abuse allegations involving law enforcement officers.
“I strongly believe we need a consistent policy statewide and in perpetuity,” the Mayor said.
“I understand that time was short between when this loophole was identified and when the session was over, but it was too important an issue not to raise, and I encourage the legislature to act on it during their next session.”
In the meantime, the Mayor said Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad and other Metro directors will be advised that any allegation of child abuse made against a Metro employee must be reported to the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services and either the County or Commonwealth’s Attorney
Kentucky law currently states that any person who knows or has reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused is required to report it to local and state police, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, or a county or commonwealth’s attorney. But the law does not explicitly require that a police department that learns of an abuse allegation against one of its own must report it elsewhere.
The issue arose after a former participant in LMPD’s Explorer program alleged he was sexually abused by two officers. The Explorer program is for boys and girls ages 14-19 interested in a law enforcement career.
The Mayor said he believes that while LMPD was in compliance with the current statute, the law should be strengthened to add an additional layer of reporting in situations where there are allegations of abuse against a law enforcement officer or prosecutor – ensuring there is never an opportunity for allegations to only be reviewed by one’s own agency.
The local Commonwealth Attorney was advised of the Explorer allegations through the investigative process in early October.
The Mayor has also asked the FBI’s Louisville office to investigate potential violations of federal law related to the Explorer program allegations.