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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Louisville's police chief on Wednesday morning officially announced a massive reorganization of the Louisville Metro Police Department. It's designed to address an increase of violent crime in the city.
It's a top-to-bottom reshuffling of police resources, highlighted by the creation of what's being called the VIPER unit, standing for Violent Incident Prevention, Enforcement and Response.
Chief Steve Conrad says the creation of the new unit was not directly in response to the multiple shootings in the Parkland neighborhood back in May. But the incident does put into focus the need to work smarter, as the chief puts it, to deal with the issue of violent crime.
The chief acknowledged that Louisville does have a gang problem, but he says that is not necessarily the focus of this new VIPER unit: "Really I think our focus isn't so much on gangs. Our focus is on criminals whether they are affiliated with a gang or not. Our focus is on violent crime in the worst, problematic areas of our city, and those may shift over time."
The chief is also creating a crime information center to help in gathering intelligence, identifying crime hot spots, and locating the worst offenders.
The chief says this re-shuffling will not affect everyday law enforcement. So if you're used to seeing a patrol car on your street on a regular basis, the chief says that will not change.
The goal, says Chief Conrad, is to make Louisville the safest city in America. It's a lofty goal, he admits, but one he believes can be achieved over time.