LMPD strategies show progress on violent crime
There is work still to do, Chief cautions in report to Metro Council
Chief Steve Conrad appeared before the Louisville Metro Council Public Safety Committee Wednesday to update the work his officers are doing to combat crime in Louisville.
Though there are still a few more weeks in 2017, the Chief said his team is encouraged by decreases in most crime reporting categories for the year, which indicate that department strategies are having an impact.
Chief Conrad highlighted data that all police departments provide the FBI for the Uniform Crime Report, which shows decreases in most crime categories in Louisville through October, the most recent month available.
“The numbers I am reporting today speak to a strategy that is working,” the Chief said. “I share these numbers as an indicator of progress, as well as recognition that there is still a lot of work to be done.”
Through October, overall violent crime was down 2.25 percent; compared to being up 9.8 percent at this time last year. Property crime was down 5.37 percent, compared with it being up more than 6.4 percent last year. And total crime was down nearly 5 percent, when it was up 6.9 percent through October 2016.
Despite that progress, the Chief acknowledged “we continue to have a disturbing number of homicides,” which “is a serious issue and continues to be a concern for me and all the men and women of LMPD, as it is for the larger community.”
To date, there have been 101 homicides in Louisville Metro. While that is down 8 percent from the 110 at this time last year, the Chief said, even one life lost is too many, and there is still much work to do – and much work being done.
He outlined several crime-fighting strategies that are having an impact:
· A reorganization of the Narcotics Unit has resulted in felony arrests up more than 46 percent; search warrants up 216 percent; the amount of heroin seized up 99 percent; and the number of firearms seized up 192 percent.
· The LMIntel task force, which is a joint effort of LMPD and several federal partners, has made dozens of felony arrests, seized several firearms and recently announced a 40-count federal indictment aimed at members of a violent gang.
· The 9th Mobile Division continues to target high crime areas and specific people involved in violent crime. To date, the division is responsible for 849 felony charges and has seized 604
guns in 2017. Of the guns seized by 9th Mobile officers, 51 percent were taken from convicted felons.
· The Real Time Crime Center’s impact is growing as it provides valuable intelligence to investigations throughout the metro area.
· ShotSpotter, technology used to detect gunfire in certain areas, is helping to get officers to scenes quicker, often before a 911 call can be made.
In his comments about those efforts and others, Chief Conrad praised the hardworking men and women of LMPD, saying they “are working very, very hard to make Louisville a safer city.”
“I am extremely proud of this department and the efforts we’ve seen this year,” he said, adding that his team is committed to continuing to work with other Metro agencies, Metro Council and community partners to further reduce crime.