Mayor Fischer, Chief Hess, Chief Conrad discuss public safety challenges amid COVID-19 crisis
Mayor Greg Fischer today was joined by Chief of Public Services Amy Hess and Police Chief Steve Conrad during a Facebook tele town hall to discuss the impact the COVID-19 crisis is having on public safety.
“Public safety is a co-production. The police enforce the laws, but it is up to us as a society to develop safe conditions and proper relationships to minimize violence in our communities,” said the Mayor. “Today we have a public health crisis that impacts public safety in a variety of ways including our Incident Management Team who has been working around the clock to coordinate our city’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.”
The Incident Management Team was assembled to coordinate all aspects of how the city responds to COVID-19. The group has been in existence for more than 50 days and is comprised of approximately 75 representatives from the Department of Public Health, Fire, Police, and other emergency management services housed at MetroSafe.
“Whether it is senior food delivery or testing our first responders or addressing issues with the homeless population and others, the planning team has done a great job thinking through each issue and problem the past month,” said Hess.
Conrad said this pandemic is unprecedented in scope and impact. “It has been a challenge for the world, this country, this state, and certainly Louisville. We’ve spent a lot of time making sure our officers were ready—that they have the proper personal protective equipment and protocols in place to help keep them safe.”
Conrad added that his major concern now is what he sees as a different kind of pandemic: a significant increase in violent crime.
“The one thing that has been clear during this is that the people out there causing problems are not the least bit concerned about the virus,” said Conrad. “But as a result of the pandemic there are complicating factors to the increase in violence, because so many things we count on to give people other opportunities to do things—schools, playgrounds, community centers—are all closed.”
Conrad noted that many peer cities have also seen an increase of violent crime during the pandemic. LMPD has been working closely with Federal law enforcement agencies to address some of the underlying causes, including drug enforcement and organized crime.
“The uptick in violent crime is not just a Louisville problem,” added the Mayor. “It is one a lot of cities around the country and the world are experiencing.”
“We are not going to arrest our way out of this,” Conrad added. “It is going to take all of us.”
Today’s tele town hall closed with guests stressing the importance of practicing social distancing and wearing masks to combat the spread of COVID-19, especially as the economy opens up. Hess also reminded citizens as they begin driving more, to be aware of your surroundings, especially emergency vehicles on the road.
Mayor Fischer added his appreciation for all first responders and encouraged Louisvillians to express their appreciation when they can.
To watch a replay of today’s tele town hall, go to www.facebook.com/MayorGregFischer.
As of Tuesday, there have been 55 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Louisville, bringing the total to 1,476 with 831 recoveries. There have been six additional deaths since Monday, bringing the confirmed Louisville total to 108.
Gender/Age data for today’s deaths:
Currently, 52 members of LMPD, Louisville Fire, Metro EMS, Metro Corrections and the Sheriff’s Office are off-duty due to COVID-19:
- 20 are off with positive tests and in self-isolation.
- 24 are off and quarantined due to exposure to someone with a positive test.
- 8 are “screened off” with symptoms and tested, or due to be tested, but have not received test results.
Positive test numbers for first responders/public safety since the incident began:
- 32 positive tests.
- 12 have fully recovered and returned to duty.
Metro Corrections inmate data for May 5:
- 136 inmates have been tested.
- 6 tests pending.