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Mayor Fischer makes rare appearance at Metro Council to discuss public safety

With crimes at near record levels, Fischer spent more than an hour getting peppered with questions about the programs that are in place.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Thursday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer appeared before Metro Council to discuss public safety. 

From the start, Fischer was in the hot seat fielding questions related to the FOP contract, the lack of a juvenile detention center, the homicide clearance rate and more. 

Council members deemed it necessary for the meeting to be public, so community members, as well as LMPD Chief Erika Shields, were in attendance. 

The main focus was on what Fischer and his team are doing to address violence in the city, but Fischer said the issues facing Louisville are national trends as well. 

He said the lack of social programs, poverty, COVID-19, the lack of trust between police and community, and the proliferation of weapons and gang activity is what is spiking the violence in the city.

"Most crimes are committed because they don't have the means to get something," he said. 

Councilmembers did not hold back, pressing Fischer on his plan. Councilmember Jessica Green asked Fischer about the need for programs to provide residents with access to trade training, saying it was a matter of survival. 

"Nobody wakes up being a drug dealer or a killer but they want to survive," she said. 

Fischer said in an attempt to plug people into trades, his hope is that the American Rescue Plan funds will be focused on workforce development. 

Fischer fielded questions regarding the rise in youth violence, and whether there were conversations about SROs in JCPS? 

"Are we focused on intel sharing to reduce gang activity and connecting our anti-violence program to the kids who need it most," Councilmember Anthony Piangentini said. 

Fischer said he speaks to Dr. Polio but the best way to address gun violence is through the Office of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods. 

Watch Fischer's full statement below: 

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Contact reporter Elle Smith at esmith@whas11.com or on her social media outlets: Facebook or Twitter. 

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