Mayor thanks, congratulates Chief Robert Schroeder on his retirement from LMPD

September 30, 2020

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer today thanked interim Louisville Metro Police Chief Rob Schroeder for his 23 years of service to the department and in particular, the outstanding work he’s done leading LMPD during the city’s four months of racial justice protests.

The Mayor noted that Chief Schroeder had agreed to take the interim role for a few months, and is moving on to prioritize his family, health and complete his doctorate.

“For more than two decades, Chief Schroeder has been an indispensable part of Louisville's public safety work, rising from a hardworking patrol officer to the highest position of leadership,” the Mayor said. “I deeply appreciate his commitment to community policing and innovation, and his outstanding work on critical initiatives such as LMPD’s rollout of body cameras, the Police Data Initiative and the Real Time Crime Center.”

Schroeder led the department’s Administrative Services Division before being named Deputy Chief. He assumed the role of interim chief of LMPD on June 1 and led the department during one of the most tumultuous times in the city’s history. His four-month tenure included daily protests in response to the Breonna Taylor case, in addition to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, a rise in homicides and an economic downturn.  

“Chief Schroeder rose to every challenge as interim chief. He understood immediately that our police officers have to balance protecting people’s First Amendment rights with the need to preserve the safety of the public,” the Mayor said. “He showed that he’s a man of character, compassion and courage, exactly the qualities we’ve needed in a leader during this pivotal moment in our city’s history.”

Schroeder also helped implement public safety reforms including Breonna’s Law, new rules on duty to intervene, restrictions on use of force and tear gas, and moving to more quickly clear a backlog of internal investigations.

Chief Schroeder said: “I am grateful to the Mayor for his confidence in my leadership and feel humbled and incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve alongside the men and women of LMPD in the city I love.”

The Mayor added: “Rob has earned the respect of people throughout our city and beyond. He will make some city a fantastic permanent chief of police when he is ready to pursue that role.”

Former LMPD Deputy Chief Yvette Gentry has agreed to serve as Chief on an interim basis until a new permanent Chief is installed. She reported to work on Sept. 14th and has been working closely with Chief Schroeder to ensure a smooth transition in advance of his retirement.

Gentry, the first female chief in the department’s history, will be sworn in October 1. She did not apply for the permanent chief position and said she has no interest in serving longer than it takes to give a new Chief a successful transition period.

Metro Government has hired the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a non-profit Washington, D.C.-based police research organization, to conduct a national search for a permanent chief.  PERF has guided cities across the country on issues such as reducing police use of force; developing community policing and problem-oriented policing; using technology to deliver police services to the community; and evaluating crime reduction strategies. For 30 years, PERF has identified the most skilled professionals in the field and assisted cities in recruiting and selecting well-qualified candidates.

More than 20 people applied by the Aug. 31 application deadline for the permanent Chief role.  Since then Chief of Public Safety Amy Hess has been working with PERF to review, vet and sort the applicants, based on how their qualifications line up with those that the community helped create. A panel is now being convened to review the list, narrow it, conduct interviews, and identify top candidates who appear best suited to lead the LMPD. That process will also involve the community and LMPD by incorporating input previously collected, as well as an opportunity to ask questions of the candidates. Anyone interested in suggesting interview questions can email them to:[email protected].

Mayor Fischer is expected to name the new permanent Chief by the end of the year.