Residents say Victory Park crackdown is working and making it sa - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Residents say Victory Park crackdown is working and making it safer

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$11,000 in Neighborhood Development Funds was used to pay for the extra police patrols. $11,000 in Neighborhood Development Funds was used to pay for the extra police patrols.

LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- It's a summer crackdown on crimes in Victory Park, like gambling, drugs and loitering.

Despite seeing gang graffiti on trees, residents say the park has really cleaned up, and they are thanking the police patrols.

Gordon Gardner has a front row view of Victory Park and has lived here for the past five years.

Like some of his neighbors, he's supportive of the increased police patrols that started around Memorial Day Weekend.

Gardner says, "When I first moved over here, there was a lot of young kids selling drugs and stuff. I watched a lot of them go to jail and stuff."

Councilman David James and LMPD are trying to take the park back for the community to make it a safer place for families in the California neighborhood.

James used $11,000 in Neighborhood Development Funds to pay for additional overtime for officers to patrol the area and make contacts with the community.

Gardner says, "It's good because it keeps people from doing gambling and things like that."

Lt. Dale Massey with LMPD says, "We've conducted approximately eight details, two officers and one commanding officer. The goal was to get out of the cars, be more visible, whether it is a walking patrol, foot patrol, ATVs, bikes or UTVs."

Police say they've concentrated the patrols around 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. when many families get home from work. And so far, residents feel like the program has worked.

Massey says, "There have been some nine or 10 citations for public disorder crimes like we've talked about: loud music, loitering -- things of that nature."

Flyers handed out earlier this summer reminded residents about the enforcement of drinking, gambling, firearms and drug laws. But once the overtime money runs out, the extra patrols will stop.

Councilman James says, "I'm hoping they will find a way to be here often, and the fact is Louisville among its peer cities is about 200-300 police officers short. So hopefully, we will someday have enough money in the budget to add enough police officers to do the things we really need to do."

Gardner says, "They play dominoes in the park a whole lot, and police still come through and control the park. They know the crowd can get. It's some younger kids."

The extra patrols are expected to last through Labor Day weekend.

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