Mayor Fischer pens letter addressing safety, downtown violence

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by Brooke Hasch

WHAS11.com

Posted on April 6, 2014 at 7:13 PM

Updated Sunday, Apr 6 at 7:49 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Two weeks after a violent teen mob hit the streets of downtown Louisville, Mayor Greg Fischer is calling on the public's help in a letter to citizens.

His two-page article, posted in the Courier Journal Sunday morning, breaks down what the city has done to curb teen violence and other possibilities under consideration. It's an issue that left a scar on city of Louisville two weeks ago, when more than 200 teens participated in more than a dozen assaults and robberies throughout Louisville's downtown and waterfront.

"I think what happened on March 22, is really just something that got out of control. I don't think that's indicative of what Louisville's all about," Terry Taylor, with Interfaith Paths to Peace said.

The city has added patrols at the Big Four Bridge, Waterfront Park and Fourth Street Live as well as real time surveillance cameras and enhanced security on TARC. Fischer also acknowledged the development of a police substation near the arena and 4th Street. But locals who visited the waterfront Sunday for a peace walk across the Big Four say these actions are only scratching the surface.

"Looking at security cameras and cop details, I think that's an insufficient response," Melissa Dawn said.

Many parents along the waterfront voiced the same concern.

"These little flash mobs pop up every once in a while down here, we've heard about them for years. I don't know why he's saying this is the first time they're coming to his attention, but I think they're good steps. But more needs to be done. I don't know what those options are," Adam Kaestner said.

"I think parents need to be held more responsible for their children's actions," Bethany Kaestner said.

Also mentioned in Fischer's letter, the city has plans to hold parents and guardians legally responsible for their children's actions. Fischer also addressed the need for more activities, summer jobs, and mentor programs for youth.

"They need things to do in this city. They need pools to remain open, community centers to extend hours, summer jobs, places like Boys and Girls Clubs," Dawn said.

All in all, Fischer says crime in Louisville has decreased the last two years.

"We're not worried. We come down here. We love this place," Kaestner said.

Fischer ended his letter asking for more volunteers and mentors for our community's youth.

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