During his more than eight years leading the Louisville Metro Police Department, Robert White has described himself as a chief who holds his officers accountable for their actions — especially when they break the law. White has fired 28 officers for offenses ranging from criminal assault to theft, says a Louisville Courier-Journal analysis of department disciplinary records. In 25 other cases, officers resigned or retired while under investigation, most after being charged criminally.
The records show that White is much more willing to give officers a second chance when they make a mistake off duty, such as driving drunk or committing a misdemeanor offense. In six cases, officers who were caught driving drunk while off duty were allowed to keep their jobs, although they were given stiff suspensions of 20 to 29 days. In all, White has disciplined 755 officers during his first eight years as chief — most of the time issuing written reprimands. “Some people think that I’m a disciplinarian. Some people think I’m a soft touch. So, I probably have it right,” White said. Mayor Greg Fischer, who made a point of announcing before he was elected that he intended to keep White as chief, supports White’s leadership and handling of his officers. “Citizens are demanding accountability and transparency from their government,” Fischer said. “Chief White’s actions show he enforces and supports those demands when it comes to officer discipline, while remaining consistent.”