Mayor names Director for Safe Neighborhoods to reduce violence


by Renee Murphy

Posted on February 19, 2013 at 7:39 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 19 at 7:42 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has named a Director for Safe Neighborhoods.  The job was created because of recent murders and the goal will be to reduce gun violence in this community.

Anthony Smith was named as the director at Simmons College Leadership West Louisville luncheon Tuesday at St. Stephen Church.

“I am a high school dropout, ended up going back to get my degree. So, I have a real personal role not just because I come from the West End but because there is a lot of kids that lose their way along the way and I want to be able to get them back on track and let them know it's possible to make that transition,” Smith said.

Smith will implement and oversee the mayor's Anti Violence Task Force's recommendations to prevent shootings and murders.

“A lot of people criticized me for creating this position saying ‘why don't you go to police’ and I say you are not going to arrest your way to a safe city,” Mayor Greg Fischer said.

“I think it's going to be very effective. I wouldn't have made this transition if I didn't think it was really going to be able to make some changes,” Smith said.

After the triple homicides on May 17 in West Louisville the community demanded action and Mayor Greg Fischer said something had to be done.

Two men shot and killed each other in the middle of the afternoon at 32nd and Greenwood. Then police say their girlfriends got into an argument at the scene and police say one shot and killed the other in front of officers.

The task force and Smith's new position was created after this incident.

“Each one of these are a tragedy. You look at the stories behind these and say what happened how can people think they can just pick up a gun and solve problems,” Fischer said.

Smith says to really address this issue it's a community-wide effort and he will serve as the guide.

“That's not a one man job. It’s about bringing a lot of people together and addressing the issue from all angles,” Smith said.