Kentucky Issued A Search Warrant Reform. Louisville Police Aren’t On Board Yet

Law enforcement agencies in Kentucky have a new way to bring more transparency to the process of obtaining a search warrant, but police in Louisville aren’t using it. The Administrative Office of the Courts last month issued a revised search warrant form that provides designated space for judges to print their name below their signature. The previous form only provided space for a signature from judges asked to approve a warrant before it’s executed by police, and it’s often impossible to discern who signed the warrant, an investigation by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting and WDRB News found. The AOC made the new forms available to law enforcement agencies a few weeks after the report from KyCIR and WDRB. But court officials cannot mandate law enforcement use the forms. The Louisville Metro Police Department isn’t using the new forms, according to a review of recent search warrants at the Jefferson Circuit Court Clerk’s office. 

An LMPD spokesperson didn’t respond to questions sent via email about why officers aren’t using the new forms. A state courts spokesperson said the forms are available on an online portal that is accessible to any law enforcement agency that uses court documents, and a “must-read alert” was issued when the new forms were rolled out.