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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB-TV)--Gangs, illegal drugs and assaults are all on the radar for Louisville Metro Police. The department is in the process of forming a couple of units that will specifically focus on those issues and more. It is the biggest change coming from the department since Chief Steve Conrad took office in March. And since a violent confrontation in May.
That confrontation involved a woman being shot in the middling of a police homicide investigation in on 32nd Street in West Louisville.
:"About three seconds after we walked through there I heard...well, riding through there, I heard gunshots and that just scared the crap out of me," says Stefanie English, from West Louisville.
It is sad, but English says it's the norm. She says,"I hear gunshots all of the time. I mean we do, we hear gunshots all the time. I live a few blocks over. I live on Grand Avenue."
But major changes coming from the top at Metro Police Headquarters could lead to a safer city.
"It is his first major move since becoming the police chief and it's well welcomed," says David James, Metro Councilman.
On Friday, Chief Steve Conrad an eight page...internal memo to his staff. It outlines the upcoming reorganization within the department. That includes the violent incident prevention, enforcement and response unit or Viper. The unit will focus on gang activity. That is something former Chief Robert White dismissed.
Councilman James says:"We do have a gang problem, whether Chief White wanted to admit that or not. So, this is recognizing that there's a problem and I applaud the chief for doing that."
Councilman James is part of the Mayor's Violent Crimes Task Force and chairman of council's public safety committee. "We look at different things that the police are not doing and are doing and this is one of the things that many of us have expressed to Chief Conrad that we think we need," says James.
The chief's memo also outlines reorganizing a Special Victims Unit, which will focus on domestic violence assaults and sex crimes.
"That's actually great to hear," says English. And she hopes the reorganization will lead to changes in her neighborhood. " 'Cause I don't even let my kids play out front; they have to play in back yard."
According to the memo, the reorganization will go into effect at the end of next month.