Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer proposes targeted violence prevention plan with budget surplus
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is proposing spending millions on targeted violence prevention plans for the city.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced Monday he is proposing spending millions on targeted violence prevention plans, which includes hiring an additional 28 police officers.
In a release, the Mayor's Offices says Louisville Metro Government is ending the fiscal year with a $6.2 million surplus, which Fischer proposes spending a majority of to battle the spike in gun violence in the city.
Fischer's plans include hiring 28 additional police officers, and budgeting $2.1 million for targeted violence reduction strategies.
Those strategies include a new Street Intervention Specialists team, an expansion of Louisville's SummerWorks program, and efforts to remove graffiti around the city.
Mayor Fischer says Louisville is in the midst of a public health and safety crisis that requires focused attention and resources.
"This spending plan targets our resources at both long and short-term approaches," Fischer said.
Fischer proposed in an ordinance submitted to Metro Council Monday that $700,000 be used to bring additional officers over the next six months in addition to the $2.1 million proposed for violence reduction including LMPD efforts, and the city's Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods' work addressing prevention, intervention and re-entry.
"With this allocation, we are asking our teams what resources they need to get the job done, and we are providing those resources," Fischer said.
In order for the plan to be enacted and public safety enhancements implemented by early 2017, Metro Council must approve it.
The 28 new officers to LMPD will be in addition to the 122 Louisville is hiring in this fiscal year, bringing the total number of recruits to the city's maximum annual capacity of 150, which officials say would be most officers hired by the city in a single year since the city-county merger.
The Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods will coordinate the Street Intervention Specialists team, with contractors hired to work directly on the streets of the city to disrupt violence. Other efforts include prevention programs and re-entry efforts.
Mayor Fischer is also proposing a relocation of some LMPD staff to the Metro Employee Wellness Center building.
While the administration had initially considered moving all LMPD headquarters, they are postponing the move until the next budget cycle. In the meantime, only those affected by plumbing and other issues will be relocated.
Officials say the surplus was realized through improved revenues and professional expense management.
The release also included a summary of the proposed spending of the surplus:
- Violence intervention strategies, $2.1 million
- Hiring of 28 LMPD officers, $700,000
- Moving some LMPD staff, $50,000
- Additional expenses for Metro Corrections, due to high inmate count, $665,000
- Expanding SummerWorks to hire 40 teens for the summer, $100,000
- Hiring of a Chief Equity Officer and staff, $115,000
- Additional personnel for graffiti removal/Clean and Bright team, $110,000
- Recruitment and retention efforts for Metro Parks front-line employees who clean parks and mow grass, $350,000
- Purchasing an additional 3,000 garbage carts for citizens, $160,000
- Increasing Rainy Day Fund by $1.8 million
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