LMPD Chief addresses spike in murder, violent crime, creates new - WDRB 41 Louisville News

LMPD Chief addresses spike in murder, violent crime, creates new task force

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- As violent crime in Louisville surges, the city's police chief is calling in the cavalry, enlisting help from other law enforcement agencies.

“These homicides truly, I believe, tear at the fabric of our community,” said LMPD Chief Steve Conrad at a Thursday morning news conference.

Conrad was backed by an alphabet soup of federal agencies, the FBI, DEA, ATF and the U.S. Marshal, as he announced a new task force formed to address the spike in violent crime; an effort called "Operation Trust."

“We are asking the community to trust us. But to not only trust us, but to help us by becoming part of the solution to the violent crime problems we're seeing in our community,” said Conrad.

There have been 20 homicides so far this year in Louisville, compared to three this time last year. That includes four on Wednesday alone.

Conrad says the task force will try to get to the root of the problem.

“They will spend their time focusing on some of the conditions that led to violent crime in our community, such as the use of guns,” he said.

The agencies promise to share resources and information.

“We're committed to assisting LMPD in any way that we can, providing intelligence and operational support as needed,” said Michael Russo, Special Agent with the FBI.

Conrad is also calling for the public's help, saying Louisville cannot arrest its way out of this problem.

“We're in this together. We are committed to do what we can, but it is going to take all of us working together,” said Conrad.

There were no details as to exactly how the task force will work. Neither the chief, nor federal authorities answered questions.

Lt. Todd Kessinger, the head of LMPD's homicide unit did talk to reporters, saying there is a common thread through most of these murders - drugs.

“To some degree, especially when you have a run like we have now, there is criminal activity involved that leads up to the murder, whether that's drugs or any other type of activities,” he said.

Kessinger says the number of shootings in Louisville is actually about the same as last year - around 30 - but this year, more of those shootings have been fatal.

Police ask anyone with information about the murders to call its tip line, 574-LMPD.

Related:

Louisville leaders say recent violence is cause for 'concern'

Still no suspects following deadly night in West Louisville

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