LMPD Chief Steve Conrad expresses frustration over rising violen - WDRB 41 Louisville News

LMPD Chief Steve Conrad expresses frustration over rising violence in front of Metro Council

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Homicides so far in 2017 are up in Louisville, but shootings have gone down.

That's what LMPD Chief Steve Conrad told Metro Council’s Public Safety Committee Wednesday afternoon.

“There are no quick fixes for violent crime,” Conrad said.

Conrad said it will take a long-term investment in addressing the root of the violence. So far this year, there have been 19 homicides. Last year at the same time, there were 13. As for non-fatal shootings, there have been 43 this year. It’s a small decrease from 47 at this time last year.

“Officers, including myself, are as frustrated as you and members of this community in the level of violence we continue to see,” Conrad said.

Therefore, the department is focusing overtime efforts in six neighborhoods with the most crime: Park Hill, Smoketown, Shelby Park, Victory Park, Russell and Shawnee.

“We put as many officers in these hot spots as we could over the course of a number of weeks," Conrad said. "We had officers working 15 hours a day in these six neighborhoods for about a seven-week process."

The department has since cut back in overtime because of the rate of spending. However, there is still an increased presence in hot-spot neighborhoods. Conrad said from December to February, arrests increased 49 percent in those areas.

“You have pointed out that it was working," councilman James Peden said. "So my question is as we approach budget season, is it safe to assume that maybe that should be the new norm?”

“If all of those homicides had been in those six neighborhoods, I would be inclined to agree," Conrad replied. "The point is, homicides happen in those neighborhoods, but they happen in other neighborhoods as well."

Conrad said he also didn't want to over-police certain areas as a result of department restructuring from November.

“Part of that discussion was we would see a reduction in homicides as a sign of things are working," councilman David James said. "But we have not seen a reduction. We've seen an increase. We need to know what plan B is because it doesn't seem to be working.”

Not all council members had a chance to ask Conrad questions because of time constraints. He has been asked to come back to address concerns at unspecified date.

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