Waterfront Park officials aim for safety after weekend violence


by Brooke Hasch


Posted on March 25, 2014 at 7:01 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Louisville's Waterfront Park attracts millions of visitors every year and with the completion of the Big Four Bridge on the Indiana side expected in the next few weeks, city officials know it'll attract even more.

But concerns over last weekend's violent mob actions on the riverfront and throughout the downtown area have prompted leaders on both sides of the river to step up patrols.

"It's nice to be across from Louisville but there is some trouble there as well, we're addressing that and we're going to make sure people recognize Jeffersonville as a safe place to come," Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore said.

Moore says his city is prepared for any troubles that may come across the bridge.

"We've stepped up police patrols. They will be very noticeable down here. There's going to be an enormous amount of lighting, and surveillance cameras, so, we're prepared," Moore said.

It's the same story at Louisville's Waterfront Park.

"It's an enormously popular venue that we want to be safe. We want to keep it protected so people can continue to enjoy it. So, events like this are unsettling," David Karem, the president of Louisville's Waterfront Park said.

Karem says the park saw more than 1.5 million visitors in the last nine months.

"Obviously, most of those visitors come and have a good experience, but that doesn't diminish the pain from the people that have this bad experience and we need to reassure them it's not going to occur again," Karen said.

Metro Police are the main source of patrols for the area, but an outside firm, hired by Karem's office, performs random security patrols in the evening. Karem says his office is doing everything it can to provide a safe environment for visitors.

"We've contacted the security company and asked them to double patrols for the next two weeks at least, from 7 p.m. to midnight, to be our extra eyes and ears," Karem said.