Louisville officials hope cleaning overgrown alleyways will lead - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville officials hope cleaning overgrown alleyways will lead to less crime

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Louisville crews are working to clean up alleys overgrown with trees and brush that help conceal crime and make it hard for LMPD patrol cars to access. Louisville crews are working to clean up alleys overgrown with trees and brush that help conceal crime and make it hard for LMPD patrol cars to access.
A worker with the city of Louisville clears brush from an alleyway as part of "Operation Clear Path" to make it easier for police to access high-crime areas. A worker with the city of Louisville clears brush from an alleyway as part of "Operation Clear Path" to make it easier for police to access high-crime areas.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- City officials say Louisville's overgrown alleyways are breeding grounds for violent crime. Now they're doing something about it. 

On Tuesday LMPD and the city launched “Operation Clear Path” -- a new program to tackle overgrown alleyways in high-crime neighborhoods.

"This is an overall operation not only to make these alleys clean, but to make them clear and to make them safer," said Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad during a news conference. 

"Operation Clear Path" will focus on alleys in LMPD’s First and Fourth divisions this spring.

The Ninth Mobile Division helped identify those violent crime "hotspots" using Shotspotter data from 2017 and the first few months of this year.

Lt. Gerald Huckleberry with the Ninth Mobile Division says the cover that overgrown alleys can provide is inviting to criminals. 

"As we do our work we often come across areas that are difficult to access by police that make a good breeding ground for criminal activity," Huckleberry said. 

"Overgrown trees make it difficult to navigate these areas in a patrol car, often blocking street lights from shining in these areas and making these alleys attractive to criminal behavior."

The initial blitz will target alleyways near West End streets like Bank Street, Market Street, South Shelby Street and West Ormsby Avenue to name a few -- all streets where shootings and homicides have happened. 

Metro Public Works started clearing the alleys on April 3 and will continue through the next few months.

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