Louisville officials plan a closer look at whether the city needs to beef up its police force after a spate of violence downtown last month, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal. Officials are working with Metro Council members to hire experts who could advise the city on the appropriate force size. Metro Council President Jim King was among council members who questioned Chief Steve Conrad about the size of the police force — its “authorized strength” — during two special meetings of the council’s Public Safety Committee after incidents March 22, when roving bands of teenagers terrorized Waterfront Park and downtown, assaulting people and damaging vehicles.
Conrad defended the size of the force, which has 1,281 officers. That works out to about 1.8 officers per 1,000 people. In Cincinnati, there were 3.3 officers per 1,000, Nashville had 2.1 and Indianapolis had 1.9, according to 2012 FBI data. The chief noted that crime had decreased in Louisville in the last two years. “If we are paying overtime to patrol downtown, that’s a good indication we don’t have enough officers,” said Councilman David James, a career law enforcement officer who was appointed by King to work with police officials in drafting the proposal to hire an expert.