Mayor names new Director of Office for Safe and Healthy Neighbor - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Mayor names new Director of Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods

Posted: Updated:
Rashaad Abdur-Rahman Rashaad Abdur-Rahman

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A new leader in city government will try to reduce the number of homicides in the city.

On Wednesday, Mayor Greg Fischer announced a new director of the city's Office for Safe and Healthy neighborhoods.

Rashaad Abdur-Rahman replaces Anthony Smith, who was named CEO of Cities United, based in Washington, D.C.

Abdur-Rahman says the community needs to work together to help reduce homicides, suicides, and overdoses.

“So this is an all hands on deck community effort, and we're gonna sustain that vision. We're gonna sustain that commitment to making sure everybody understands that there's a seat at the table and that we need to broaden that tent in terms of how we're doing this work,” said Abdur-Rahman.

He's calling on people to volunteer, be mentors, and offer young people jobs.

"The safety and health of every young person in this city needs to be tied up our egos. We have to be able to say that they're outcomes are our outcomes," said Abdur-Rahman.

Abdur-Rahman previously served as director of child welfare services for Family & Children’s Place. He also served as a volunteer on the city’s One Love Louisville implementation team.

Mayor Fischer created the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods in 2013, following the recommendation of the Violence Prevention Work Group.

The Mayor also announced on Wednesday that Eric Friedlander will be the interim Director of the Department of Community Services. Katina Whitlock, who was appointed director in 2014, has accepted a position with the Louisville Urban League.

Friedlander has more than 30 years of government experience and most recently worked with the Beshear administration.

The Department of Community Services works to reduce homelessness, assist with household financial stability, advocate for targeted populations and improve the overall quality of life for families across the community.

Friedlander will continue to serve while a search for a permanent director takes place.

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