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City investing millions to improve LMPD headquarters, create wellness center | News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — City officials say millions of dollars in investments in the Louisville Metro Police Department will have an enormous impact on both the LMPD and neighborhoods throughout the city.

Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg announced investments in four major areas at a news conference Thursday morning:

  • Fast-tracking renovations on LMPD headquarters
  • Opening an LMPD Wellness Center
  • Public Safety signing and retention bonuses
  • Creating a new narcotics-focused tip line 

Fast-Track Renovations of New LMPD Headquarters

Greenberg said $14 million of American Rescue Plan funding will be used to expedite renovations to the new LMPD Headquarters at 601 W. Chestnut St. that was purchased in 2021 for $6.8 million. Once complete it will house all LMPD employees under one roof for the “first time in a generation.”

The additional $14 million will be earmarked for roof replacement, elevator renovation, HVAC upgrades, and electrical needs. This funding is in addition to $13 million that was allocated to the project last year.

“I want to move fast with strengthening our police department,” Greenberg said in a written statement. “Having a new headquarters and centralized police department will go a long way to ensuring transparency, accountability, and improve service to our community.”

There is no set date on when the new headquarters will be open, but Greenberg said with this extra funding, work is expected to begin as soon as possible. 

“It’s our job to supply our police officers with the right kind of training, recruitment, resources, compensation, leadership, and facilities they need,” said Greenberg. 

LMPD Wellness Center

Greenberg said the Metro Police Foundation has purchased a building that will serve as the LMPD Wellness Center.  More than just a workout facility, it will be a space where LMPD officers and staff can receive physical and mental health support. It will be located on Presidents Boulevard near Eastern Parkway.

“Our officers serve a crucial role in our community and we need to remember they have a uniquely stressful position which needs unique support,” LMPD Interim Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel said in a written statement. “This new Wellness Center, planned with the specific needs of officers in mind, is a win-win for Louisville. Planned with the demands placed on these officers in mind, it will help assist officers to be their healthiest both in body and spirt. And healthier officers can only help create healthier neighborhoods.”

The Metro Police Foundation is paying for the purchase of the building from the University of Louisville for nearly $1.5 million. LMPD will then lease the building from the Foundation for $419,000 a year, through 2026, for a total of approximately $1.6 million. The lease payments will come from ARP funds made available by the Federal American Rescue Plan. The rate will be reduced to $1 per year after 2026, when ARP funds are depleted.  

The LMPD Wellness Center is expected to up ready for officers by mid-2023.

“This announcement will show all of LMPD that we are loved, supported, and needed,” said Maj. Bryan Edelen, from LMPD’s Performance Division.  

Edelen said LMPD’s Wellness Unit will include a full-time psychologist. two full-time mental health counselors, and a chaplain. He said the chaplain has already been hired. 

Public Safety Signing and Retention Bonuses

Greenberg is pushing for signing and retention bonuses for employees of LMPD, Louisville Metro Department of Corrections, Louisville Metro Emergency Medical Services, and Louisville Metro Emergency Management Agency to be reinstated after they stopped at the end of 2022.

The city can reinstate the bonuses as soon as the full Metro Council approves amendments that were approved by the Metro Council Budget Committee. The revised schedule allows for 50% of the bonuses to be paid upon the completion of required training and the remaining 50% paid after twelve months thereafter.

New Anonymous Narcotics Tip Line

The current 574-LMPD tip line will remain in place along with a new tip line specifically for tips pertaining to drugs. The number is 502-574-2580.

“The community should always feel safe reaching out to LMPD for help, and this includes contacting our public safety officials about drugs being sold in our neighborhoods,” said Greenberg. 

Greenberg said he encourages anyone worried about drugs being sold in their neighborhoods to use the new anonymous tip line, which will be monitored by LMPD. 

“Our citizens deserve the best police department possible. And that’s what you’re going to get,” said Gwinn-Villaroel

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