Metro Louisville

Louisville officials have launched an online dashboard for residents to track the city’s attempts to reform its troubled police department.

The dashboard shows Louisville Metro Police Department’s progress as it tries to fulfill more than 100 recommendations laid out in a scathing audit of the city’s policing practices.

 The independent audit of the department, released earlier this year, showed that Louisville police have a strained relationship with Black communities, disproportionately stop and arrest Black people and don’t always follow proper search warrant policies and protocols.

Louisville Police Chief Erika Shields said she’s not just looking to check off items on the dashboard.

“If we’re really making change, that’s not going to be the judge of it. The judge of it will be a prolonged period of time where we show we’re doing things differently,” Shields said at a news conference.

The dashboard divides the 105 recommendations from the audit into 12 subject areas ranging from “use of force and de-escalation” to “complaints against LMPD personnel.”

Here’s an example of a recommendation the police force is trying to implement: “Update guidelines and instructions for supervisors when they review probable cause affidavits to ensure they take adequate time to verify if facts and circumstances are sufficiently articulated to seek a warrant from a judge.”

That recommendation is currently in the “planning and development” stage.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said the dashboard shows that the city is committed to making changes.

“Embracing these challenges is what strong organizations do and it’s a necessary first step toward finding solutions and reaching our goal of having the absolute best police department in the nation,” Fischer said.

Calls for the city to reform LMPD grew last year after police killed Breonna Taylor, an unarmed 26-year-old Black woman, during a middle-of-the-night raid at her apartment, sparking massive protests.

In April, the U.S. Department of Justice launched a “pattern or practice” investigation to see if LMPD consistently uses excessive force or violates residents’ constitutional rights.

Shields said the dashboard is the first step in showing the city is trying to implement reforms as the DOJ investigates.

“They’re going to be looking for a true commitment to change. You don’t turn a vessel on a 90-degree angle and we have to get this right,” Shields said.

Shields will discuss the city’s progress on reforms at a meeting of Metro Council’s Public Safety Committee on Wednesday afternoon.

Ryland Barton is the Capitol bureau chief for Kentucky Public Radio.