Mayor: Increase in opioid use a factor in violent crime rate

Mayor: Connection between opioids and homicide rate

LOUISVILLE, Ky.  (WHAS11) – The corner of Market and 25th Streets is no stranger to violence to those who live and work there.

"The shootings, the gangs. We see it every day," Aileen Bryant Wales said. 

It's also home to one of Louisville's newest resource centers to help combat the city's war on drugs.  Wales is one of the leading forces behind the effort.  "We do the job searches, let them how to go to interviews. We work with Dress for Success. We're working with these agencies to help the people," Wales said.

Mayor Greg Fischer and Police Chief Steve Conrad announced crime data for the first six months of 2017.  Across the board, crime is down four percent, with exception to homicides which are up 20 percent from 2016.  "The unfortunate reality is there are just some folks that choose violent crime as a way of doing businesses and our job is to get them off the street," Mayor Fischer said.

Mayor Fischer says the increase in drug use is a contributing factor to more deadly shootings, although the number of overall shootings is down. Chief Conrad touting the $200,000 shot spotter technology as a useful tool that can pinpoint where gunshots are coming from.

"We believe the shot spotter system is paying dividends for the money that we invested in that system," Chief Conrad said.

The Kentucky Recovery Resource Center is also investing in the community holding alcohol and substance abuse meetings every week for roughly a thousand people.  Wales says there is a way out because she's an example of what life can be like free from addiction.

"There is a way out. You know why? Because I found a way out. I'm out and I dedicate my life to helping find their way out," Wales said.

 

The Kentucky Recovery Resource Center

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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