Mayor Fischer preparing millions of dollars to fight rising viol - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Mayor Fischer preparing millions of dollars to fight rising violence in Louisville

Posted: Updated:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer discussed Tuesday why certain funds from the 2016-2017 fiscal year’s $6.2 million budget surplus will be dedicated to battle the spike in gun violence.

He said the spending plan will provide more resources to keep the city safe.

"We will put more resources where the problems are,” Mayor Fischer said. “And obviously, the spike in violent crime is unacceptable to everybody. There are many good people in our community that are suffering in these neighborhoods where a few people are disrespecting the neighborhood with crime and violence. And we're doing everything we can to stop that."

Highlights of the budget surplus include:

  • $2.1 million for targeted violence reduction strategies
  • $700,000 to hire 28 additional police officers
  • $50,000 to move some LMPD staff
  • $665,000 for additional expenses with Metro Corrections

The $2.1 million will go toward extra resources for programs which already exist in the community. Mayor Fischer mentioned programs like Peace Education, Pivot to Peace, Right Turn and ReImage that are under the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods and dedicated to prevention, intervention and re-entry efforts.

"These are intervention points to say we'd like to give you an alternative to a life of violence,” Mayor Fischer said of the programs. “A life as a productive citizen. So if you need help getting a GED, or getting a skill, getting a job, getting any type of services, we're here to help with that."

Mayor Fischer said that office will also coordinate the newly founded "Street Intervention Specialists’" team with some of the $2.1 million. That is a team of private citizens hired to work with some of these programs, but it's completely different from the new Community Policing Unit that LMPD recently created when restructuring units.

"The Street Intervention Team consists of folks that really have the street credibility, if you will, that really understand the lure of the street and different ways to pull away from that,” Mayor Fischer said.

When it comes to the money dedicated toward hiring 28 new police officers, this will be in addition to the 122 positions already approved for the current fiscal year. The 28 new officers will be hired over the course of the next six months. This brings the total number of recruits to the maximum annual capacity of 150. If you divide a budget of $700,000 by 28 positions, you would get a salary of $25,000 per officer.

"Well, when you think of the balance of the time left in this fiscal year, that's where that number comes from. Obviously, for the full fiscal year, there will be more than that,” Mayor Fischer said of the salaries.

Mayor Fischer proposed relocating some LMPD staff to the Metro Employee Wellness Center Building at 400 South First St. This is expected to cost $50,000 of the budget surplus. The initial idea was to move all of LMPD headquarters to a new building, but that will be postponed until the next budget cycle. The few that will be moved are those affected most by the plumbing, health and safety issues in the current building.

Mayor Fischer also explained the $665,000 for Metro Corrections will primarily go toward overtime costs. He said there are some issues at the state level that are leading to more overtime costs that need to be taken care of at the local level.

"The most terrible part for me is when you go in these neighborhoods that are affected, because most of the crime is geographically clustered, 99 percent of the people are good people just trying to get by,” Mayor Fischer said. “And to have their lives uninterrupted by violence, that's what kills me. And every time I see one of these homicides come across my phone, it's another punch in the gut."

The rest of the budget surplus has been allocated toward:

  • 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 teams, $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 Fundy by $1.8 million

Related Stories:

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer proposes targeted violence prevention plan with budget surplus

Copyright 2016 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.

  • Sign Up for WDRB's Sports Newsletter

    * denotes required fields

    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.