MAYOR FISCHER: Efforts to curb Louisville violence not a failure - WDRB 41 Louisville News

MAYOR FISCHER: Efforts to curb Louisville violence not a failure; community effort needed

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Seventy-one murders and counting, but Louisville's mayor is still standing by his efforts to stop the violence.

The mayor launched his "Safe and Healthy" neighborhoods program two years ago, but he is not declaring it a failure, despite the fact that violence is rising.

There’s a makeshift memorial at the corner of 12th and Hill, the scene of Louisville's latest murder.

Someone gunned down pizza delivery driver Corey Ross Saturday night.

It's the city's 71st homicide of the year, compared to 55 all of last year, and 48 in 2013 when the Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods program began.

“Our programs, we've bench-marked them with the best in the country, we feel like we're doing the right thing, experts tell us we're doing the right thing, but the bottom line is, it's been a tough and challenging year,” said Metro Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

But Fischer will not say that the city's anti-violence programs are failing.

“We'll find out in the long term. Look, violence did not start last night. It's not going to end tomorrow. We think we're planting seeds that will bear fruit later,” he told WDRB News.

Fischer says the spike in murders is part of a national trend, and he points out they are usually not random. The killer and the victim often know each other and, often, there are drugs involved.

“So, we know these things, and we're throwing everything we have at it, but the results aren't there yet,” said Fischer.

Some are taking matters into their own hands. Following this latest homicide, activist Jerald Muhammad is holding a "Stop the Killing Community Action Meeting."

He believes a grassroots effort is what's needed.

“We put so many demands  on the police, demands on the mayor's office, demands on the school system. We have to put a demand on ourselves that enough is enough. That we have to stand up and take back our community,” said Muhammad.

Fischer says such community programs must be part of the effort, but adds there is no single solution.

“We'll keep at it. This is long term work. We are not going to give up. it's just too important,” he said.

The "Stop the Killing" meeting is Tuesday night at 7:00 at the Urban League.

Also Tuesday, the mayor will launch a program to help young offenders get jobs and finish school, a new effort to break the cycle of crime and violence.

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