Police say there are roughly 25 active gangs in Louisville - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Police say there are roughly 25 active gangs in Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad says the amount of violent crime in the city has increased 4.4 percent in comparison with 2015, according to the most recent data.

Chief Conrad spoke about violent crime and gangs in Louisville during a Public Safety Committee meeting on Wednesday.  

He says there have been 25 murders so far this year and 106 shootings. 

"Through the end of February, as comparing our shootings, they were up 48 percent compared to the first two months of 2015," Conrad said. 

Top LMPD officials were asked to update members of Metro Council on several issues Wednesday,  including gang activity. 

Police say there are about 25 'active gangs' in the city. 

WDRB News asked Chief Conrad how the department is addressing the issue. 

"We are addressing a violent crime issue and what we are finding is people we are arresting for some violent crimes have in fact in the past been identified as members in a gang," Conrad explained. 

He says the department is putting its resources in the neighborhoods that need it the most and that the 9th mobile division was created to focus on violent crime. 

As for what's causing the problems, the chief points to poverty, drugs and failed institutions.  

"We are babysitting them long enough until they're old enough to get arrested," said Chuck Bird, a teacher who spoke as a representative for the Jefferson County Teachers Association. 

He says the school district's disciplinary system isn't working. Another teacher says there needs to be more mental health resources for students. 

"They're burying their friends at 12 and 13 years old," she said.  

While no concrete plans were laid out at the meeting, Councilman David James called the discussion productive. But says he was disappointed JCPS wasn't involved. 

He says he'll offer them another opportunity to come. 

"We have talked about them coming next month to talk about those issues in the classroom and how we can best help them address those issues," James said. 

A JCPS spokesperson says the district offered to talk about public safety in schools at the meeting, but Councilman James declined because it didn't fit the discussion. 

James says the district wanted to talk about issues like lock down drills and hall monitoring, not gangs in schools. 

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