LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) — After a bad year as well as a record year last year in Metro Louisville for homicides and shootings, the city is looking at more of the same for 2017.
In November, the Louisville Metro Police Department’s highly trained SWAT teams went full-time, and it’s been a full-time job going after Louisville’s Most Wanted.
SWAT says it’s on pace this year to serve over 200 “high-risk warrants.”
“Even in Louisville, the murder rate's gone up, becoming a more violent city,” full-time SWAT member and team leader, Sgt. Brandon Hogan said.
Today, there are now 21 officers dedicated solely to SWAT, with another 27 part-timers.
SWAT’s commander, Lt. Brent Routzahn, says full-time theoretically saves on overtime because there’s a team ready to go during the day.
“We’d have to call and have people come in (in the past),” Lt. Routzahn said.
Routzahn says there’s another benefit to full-time SWAT…less lethal weapons and capabilities.
“The good thing with us going full-time, we have it out on the street, all the time now.”
SWAT trains at least twice a year with rifles and modified shotguns which fire bean bags and other less lethal ammunition.
“Our mission is to save lives,” Lt. Routzahn said. “Whether that be the suspect, innocent civilians, other officers, everybody.”