Louisville crime scene, June 2021

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- As Louisville continues to see a spike in violence, police are encouraging people to use the anonymous tip line to call in with information.

According to the most recent data from the Louisville Metro Police Department, there have been 99 criminal homicides and 320 non-fatal shootings so far this year. LMPD reported three homicides on Father's Day.

"Violent crime is real here in this city, and it's really unfortunate that we had five homicides from Friday to Sunday night," LMPD spokesperson Officer Beth Ruoff said. "It's a major issue right now."

Police are asking people who know something to say something. People can call the anonymous tip line at 574-LMPD to give information.

"The community is crying out for us to solve these crimes, and with that, we ask for the community's assistance," Ruoff said. "We need your help in providing this valuable information."

In a recent "On The Record" podcast with LMPD Chief Erika Shields and Homicide Unit Commander Lt. Donnie Burbrink, the tip line came up in conversation

"You can remain anonymous," Burbrink said. "I think everybody thinks, 'Oh, they're going to track my phone.' Guys, we're not."

Burbrink said he likes the tip line, and it is important, but its usage has dropped "dramatically" since last year.

"Listen, I'll take whatever information you want to give me, and we will look into it," he said on the podcast. "Guarantee you."

On The Record Podcast

'On The Record' podcast with LMPD's Lt. Donnie Burbrink and Chief Erika Shields.

Ruoff said providing information on this tip line can be the last piece of information needed to close a case.

Krista and Navada Gwynn are two Louisville parents who lost their son to gun violence in Louisville in December 2019. Just recently, their daughter was shot in Louisville but survived.

The family has made it a point to speak out against gun violence and encourages others to use the tip line if they have information about a crime. 

"If you see something, say something," Krista Gwynn said. "You don't understand. Your information may lead to an arrest and saving your neighbor's life."

Ruoff said the more specific the tip, the better. 

She said information like the license plate number on a vehicle, vehicle damage or description, a person's permanent, physical features including tattoos, marks, or scars, and time/date of the crime are all pieces of information that can help police.

Burbrink said there's more to it than just giving a name, but he will take any information he can get.

"Understand this: You providing me with a name of somebody who did it without giving me any type of information as to how they did it or a person who saw them do it, that helps me understand who did it, but that does not help me make an arrest," Burbrink sid. 

Ruoff said the department is also looking for people to fill open positions. She said LMPD is down 241 officers and also has positions open for civilian employees. 

"We really need people to put in for these jobs," she said. 

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