Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer stands behind public safety polici - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer stands behind public safety policies, despite rise in violence

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer stands behind public safety policies, despite rise in violence

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- With bodies dumped in the road and guns lying in the street, Louisville is seeing an unexpected rise in violent crime.

On Thursday, we asked Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer whether it's time to change strategies on public safety. 

It's a picture Paul Schum may never forget. 

"I'm totally, like, in shock," Schum said. "I didn't know what to say or do...I saw two guys struggling on the ground."

Schum bore witness to Louisville's latest murder: two brothers were fighting in a Valley Station parking lot when a third person arrived, shots were fired, and one brothers, 29 year old Cameron Pearson died.

"I don't like it one bit," Fischer said.

As the story repeats itself over and over again, the response from city leaders grows more terse.

"The roots of this problem are many," Fischer said. "Obviously lots of guns on the street. Illegal drug transactions, broken homes, domestic violence."

Louisville is putting more resources than ever before behind crime prevention, partnering with churches and non-profits, getting federal grants to help people who have fallen into the system find jobs. 

The Mayor hired Anthony Smith for the role of Safety Czar, and created a Safe Neighborhoods department -- separate from police -- specifically to cut crime. 

Most recently, LMPD launched a task force with the FBI, the DEA and U.S. Marshals.

"These homicides truly tear the fabric of our community," stated Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad, during the announcement of Operation Trust.

Yet the city has seen 42 homicides so far this year, six shy of the total for all of 2013, and on-track to outdo the spike of 55 murders from last year. "Is that plan as solid as you think?" asked WDRB's Gilbert Corsey. "Your data is inaccurate there."

But Corsey asked Fischer to take a second look. 
"Yes, but when you go back the years before that, you'll see it's 58, 62," Fischer said. "You can't look at crime month-by-month." 

"Are the connection points working, are the right leaders in place to execute the strategy?" Corsey asked.  

"Well I'm very confident in our team," Fischer said. "If you all have some better ideas, we're open to those as well."

The Mayor is standing by his plan for a safer city.

"National experts have weighed in on it," Fischer said. "Regional experts and local experts."

"We're on the right path -- we've just got to stick with it," Mayor Fischer said. "The worst thing in the world to do would be to stop and alter some type of course."

But can the status quo produce a different outcome? 

"It's terrifying to see something like that go down and not be able to do anything about it," Schum said.

Despite the rise in murders, Louisville ranks fourth-safest when compared to similar-sized cities. 

If you have any information in the Valley Station case, call the tipline 574-LMPD.

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