LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville is on the cusp of grim milestone that has long seemed inevitable. As of Tuesday, the city was just one shy of the record number of homicides in a year, previously set just a year ago in 2020.
Christie Welch, deputy director of Christopher 2X Game Changers, is part of a team dedicated to reducing violence and finding resources for the families of homicide victims.
"These people have lost a loved one, whether that be a son, husband, wife, children," Welch said. "I started doing this work because I started to see the immense loss of life and my peer group amongst my family members and my peer group as a whole."
This year, there are so many names and faces of homicide victims in Louisville. Welch doesn't know all of the survivors they've left behind, but she does know their pain.
"It's hard because it puts me in my own situation where I've had my own family members killed to gun violence and friends that I went to high school with," Welch said.
In 2020, a record 173 people were killed in Louisville. In a recent interview with WDRB News, Louisville Metro Police Chief Erika Shields addressed the ongoing violence and shortage of officers.
"You can't just throw in the towel," she said. "The officers are doing a fantastic job, because we are stretching them thin. We are asking them to do a lot."
Shields said they're addressing the violence by arresting key players, trying to steer young people away from gangs and working to off-set the officer shortage.
"Whether it's leveraging technology — more so, collaborating with our federal partners — that's been a huge bonus for us," she said.
The homicides have not been limited to one neighborhood, but Shields said, overall, the city is safe.
"I live in Louisville. I think it's a fantastic city," she said. "I think, clearly, we're seeing individuals who are engaged in violence that is unacceptable. But the city is safe. We just need to find a way to do a better job about getting our arms around these people who are doing the violence and hold them accountable. And that's what we're working on every day.”
LMPD is always looking for help from the public. If you have information about any of the open cases, you can call the anonymous police tip line at 574-LMPD.
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