“To ensure we have the appropriate level of staffing to provide for public safety services and our policing functions, effective immediately the LMPD will operate under the emergency staffing and reporting guidelines as outlined in the Standard Operating Procedures, Emergency Response Plan and collective bargaining agreements until further notice,” Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) Interim Chief Rob Schroeder said in a statement.
He also declared a “state of emergency for the Louisville Metro Police Department.”
Taylor was shot and killed by Louisville narcotics officers while serving a warrant in her apartment in March of this year. Protesters have been gathering in the city for several months following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“Effective immediately, all off-days are hereby cancelled and vacation requests that have not already been submitted and approved are cancelled until further notice,” the statement read.
Reports said that the federal courthouse and adjacent offices in Louisville were boarded up on Sunday ahead of the decision.
“Due to increased attention and activity in anticipation of an announcement from Attorney General Daniel Cameron regarding the Breonna Taylor case, a decision was made to accelerate plans to physically restrict access to the downtown area,” the LMPD also said in a statement on Twitter early Tuesday. “While we do not know when the Attorney General will make his announcement, LMPD is taking the following actions now to ensure the area is as safe as possible for those coming downtown to express their First Amendment Rights, as well as those who live and work in the area.”
The department added that it will put in vehicle barricades around the perimeter of downtown and in Jefferson Square Park, which has become a meeting spot for demonstrators.
“This is by no means intended to be a lockdown of the downtown area,” Schroeder told a news conference on Tuesday. Officers will not check the IDs of people exiting downtown, and he added that he doesn’t have information on Cameron’s time-table for the announcement.
Mayor Greg Fischer, a Democrat, wrote on Tuesday that he’s not sure when the attorney general will make the announcement or what it will encompass.
“Our goal with these steps is ensuring space and opportunity for potential protesters to gather and express their First Amendment rights, & to prepare for any eventuality to keep everyone safe,” Fischer said on Twitter.
The LMPD has not responded to a request for comment.