Louisville outreach group creates hotline to help with disputes - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville outreach group creates hotline to help with disputes that could turn deadly

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Sometimes an argument or dispute can lead to a deadly confrontation. And a local outreach group has created a hotline to help settle disputes before it's too late.

It is all in response to the record breaking number of homicides in Louisville last year.

"Doing something is better than doing nothing at all," said Minister Jerald Muhammad with Brothers Helping Brothers.

After 2016 saw nearly 120 homicides in Louisville, people are thinking outside the box.

"We have enough programs going on after something has happened," Muhammad said. "We don't have enough programs that are designed for prevention. What we're trying to do is get to the violence before it happens." 

So Brothers Helping Brothers created a "squash the beef" hotline.

"It is basically manned 24 hours," Muhammad said.

The goal is to settle disputes before they turn deadly, like the 2008 case involving 16-year old Branden Trumbo, who was shot and killed at 22nd Street and Broadway by someone who was once considered a friend.

"What we've found is just a lot of misunderstanding, because people don't talk," Muhammad said.

Muhammad said so far, a number of people have picked up the phone and called the hotline.

"What we'll find is neither side really wants to take it any further, but they don't know if they don't sit down and talk."

"When you ride the beat, you constantly are interacting with teenagers," said Lt. Emily McKinley with LMPD's Homicide Unit. "Since I have been in homicide, I have seen some of those kids, unfortunately, end up in body bags."

Lt. McKinley said that's not only devastating to family members, it is also hurts police.

"It is heartbreaking for the officers, and I know I am not the only one," she said. "There are several detectives who have seen the same situations."

Lt. McKinley said a lot of the cases have one very sad thing in common.

"There are many of our cases that involved juveniles or young adults. They do know each other, they have a history with each other."

And even if you don't call the hotline, Lt. McKinley hopes you'll call someone and talk instead of taking action or a life.

"Get someone else, whether it be law enforcement, whether it be a friend at church or a friend in the neighborhood."

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