Posts Tagged ‘Kentucky’

Kentucky fast-tracking retiring military into law enforcement agencies

July 12, 2022

The Department of Defense has a SkillBridge program aimed at helping military members transition to civilian employment. Kentucky is the first state to utilize the program statewide, as reported here. Military retirees will be able to attend basic police training at Kentucky’s Department of Criminal Justice Training during their final 180 days of military service, positioning them to move straight into a police career. In addition, “The program provides significant cost savings to law enforcement agencies as the military has agreed to continue paying the service member’s salary and other benefits while attending a basic training academy.” The first soldier completed the program in April of this year.

Evidence supports place-based policing strategies

April 12, 2022

A recent article in the Washington Post criticized place-based policing strategies, tying them to the police shooting of Breonna Taylor in Louisville in 2020. This column by several distinguished police scholars argues instead that what happened in Louisville was a botched no-knock warrant service, having nothing to do place-based policing. Noting that crime concentrates in a small number of locations in any jurisdiction, “Place-focused approaches in policing bring communities a more thoughtful and high-quality approach to policing than traditional policing approaches which are often unfocused across communities. The science supports police adopting place-based approaches. Ignoring the needs of these places would be irresponsible and contribute to higher victimization.”

Round 2 for reform in Louisville

October 27, 2021

Louisville was one of 15 cities selected in 2016 to become models of 21st century policing. As of 2017, the police department indicated it had completed 351 different reform initiatives. However, as reported here, the agency shifted its focus to aggressive patrol and enforcement as violent crime began to increase. Community policing duties were largely relegated to a special unit and community activists began to question the city’s reform sincerity. Then, in 2020, Breanna Taylor was killed by police during execution of a no-knock search warrant. Protests later in the year over her death and the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis turned violent and the police response was heavy-handed. A federal civil rights investigation is now underway, likely to result in recommendations or mandates similar to the ones that were promised back in 2016. 

DOJ issues new rules for consent decree monitors

September 17, 2021

The Department of Justice has recently opened investigations of police practices in Minneapolis, Louisville, and Phoenix. This week the Attorney General announced new rules pertaining to the federal monitors who oversee consent decrees, as reported here. According to the AG, “It is no secret that the Justice Department believes in the value of pattern-or-practice investigations. It is also no secret that the monitorships associated with some of those settlements have led to frustrations and concerns within the law enforcement community.” The new rules include budget caps, term limits, and restrictions on conflicts of interest. In addition, DOJ will develop more standardized tools to increase consistency among monitors working in different jurisdictions. 

California the best state to be a police officer

May 15, 2021

The ratings company WalletHub has published its analysis of the best and worst states to be a police officer, based on 30 weighted metrics related to pay and benefits, training requirements, hazards, and job protections. The ratings and an explanation of the methodology are here. The three best states are California, Connecticut, and Maryland, while the three worst are Hawaii, Nevada, and Kentucky.

Reflecting on federal civil rights investigations

May 3, 2021

With USDOJ again initiating federal civil rights investigations of police departments, the Attorney General has ordered a review of the monitoring process that is used to make sure PDs implement the changes they agree to in consent decrees. In the past, federal monitoring has lasted as long as 10-15 years for some cities. Also, monitoring has tended to be very expensive. This post from the PERF Trending series reviews the history of federal investigations and consent decrees, identifies benefits that have been achieved, and offers several suggestions for streamlining the process.


December 19, 2020

This two-part story from Arnold Ventures, here and here, describes the development of the ICAT (Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics) model and de-escalation training. Initiated in 2014, it was controversial and strongly resisted at first, but since then has been widely adopted and found to be effective. The two-part series includes testimonials from officers in several departments who acknowledge they were skeptical at first but discovered that the training was realistic and practical, and who have since been able to apply it in the field.

Director, Southern Police Institute

September 22, 2020

The University of Louisville is currently recruiting for the position of Director, Southern Police Institute. The SPI was established in 1951 and “its program of instruction has been based upon the belief that law enforcement is a demanding activity requiring the highest levels of professional preparation and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.” The position announcement is located here.

Black chiefs squeezed from all sides

September 14, 2020

Particularly in these times, Black police chiefs have to walk a complicated tightrope, as reported here. Black women chiefs recently announced resignations in Seattle and Dallas and the Black chief in Rochester, NY resigned along with his entire command staff. One chief described the challenge of trying to please his bosses in city government, officers in the department, and the community, all of whom are suspicious and jealous of each other. Black chiefs have the added burden of being expected to solve longstanding race issues in short order. The chief in Phoenix cites the importance of years of having shown up for painful conversations in her city, allowing her to say “I’m true to blue, I’m true to Black, it’s time for us to roll up our sleeves and really take care of the police reform issues that need to be taken care of.”

Tough on chiefs

August 18, 2020

The balancing act that police chiefs face, always tough, has become even more difficult in the current climate, as reported here. Impossible demands and unrealistic expectations can imperil even the most experienced and reform-minded chiefs. One observer notes “progressive cities are relentlessly unforgiving to progressive chiefs” and another comments “It’s hard to know what success will look like for today’s police chief.” Reflecting on the Atlanta chief’s resignation just hours after an officer shot and killed a suspect, a local journalist wrote “Sadly, it’s the unforgiving environment we’re in. Atlanta is losing a calming police chief who has been implementing the very reforms protesters are rightfully demanding of police departments throughout America.”