LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An emotional police chief addressed reporters at a Lexington news conference Tuesday morning as he and the city's mayor answered questions about the recent rise in violent crime in Lexington.

"Start appreciating what your police do for you," Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers told reporters, according to LEX 18. "Start appreciating what your E-911 workers do for you. Start appreciating what your fire department does for you, and start appreciating what your corrections officers do for you."

"That's what we need when we say 'community involvement,'" Weathers added, pounding the podium. "We need you to be involved in public safety!"

With the city on pace to set another record for annual homicides and nine more people recovering from gunshot wounds over the weekend, Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton and Weathers held the joint news conference with other city officials to clear the air about what's been going on and what needs to happen going forward.

According to the LEX 18 report, there are programs in place to help reduce guns, like ONE Lexington, but without help from the community, those programs can only do so much.

Lexington's police department is currently short 86 officers, which makes patrolling known nuisance areas more difficult.

Weathers' comments came as officials acknowledge that the job of policing has become less attractive to potential recruits over the years.

"Let me tell you something," Weathers said. "When I have police leave, they're leaving because they feel like they're not appreciated. It's time to stop all this nonsense and realize that you've got a different community here."

There was frustration from Mayor Gorton's office as well. She rattled off numbers indicating the rise in crime and asked for help from the public and tips from those who know when something could happen before it becomes problematic.

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