Police: Gang activity on the rise in West Louisville
It happened a month ago, but police say crime in the area continues.
"We have a high concentration of gangs in the area," Detective Cole Gibson told WDRB.
Gibson and Detective Bert DeLong work in LMPD's Second Division, covering several neighborhoods in West Louisville, including Shawnee.
"It's been my experience down here that there always has been the gangs around but it seems like they're taking a bigger step up," Gibson said.
"There's Victory Park, there's CNG which is Cecil and Greenwood, and there's MSG or Market Street Crypts," DeLong said.
About a week and a half before Ne'Riah Miller was killed, the detectives say they were called to the same block of 37th street after receiving complaints.
"We went up there and actually were able to get out with some of the gang members, we ended up in some foot chases and caught a couple of them," Gibson said.
As part of their investigations, the detectives try and pinpoint who's involved in what gangs. During a ride along in an unmarked car, they can recognize suspects as we pass by.
Police say with increased gang activity comes more problems with drugs, street robberies and gun violence. Second Division Major Bill Kristine says the gang members are getting younger.
"A lot of these street level gang guys, they don't care. They don't care what they're doing. they don't care where that bullets going, they're just gunna shoot. To them it's just a game," DeLong said.
"A lot of times we'll have people who, maybe the gang members have overrun their house and they're hanging out in their house, and they'll call us up and say, 'We need help with this,'" Gibson said.
The anonymous tip line helps pinpoint trouble areas. Complaints come in from people who are sometimes afraid to leave their own homes. But even if tips lead to an arrest, it's only a matter of time before the gang members are back on the streets in some cases, according to the detectives.
"There's not a lot we can do. We'll catch them gambling, we'll cite them for gambling or trespass charges, drinking alcohol in a public place, we don't always hit home runs where we're getting guns and drugs but basically, we don't have a whole lot of fire power to deal with getting rid of them," Gibson said.
Detective Gibson says even if people are arrested, they'll often pay a fine and be back on the street the next day.
As for Ne'Riah Miller's murder, four people have been arrested in that case. Police have not commented on whether it's connected to gang activity.