LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Residents in the Shawnee neighborhood are looking for answers and solutions after a recent string of shootings in the area.

District 5 Metro Councilwoman Donna Purvis held a special meeting Saturday at Portland Memorial Baptist Church to discuss the violence.

She says the goal of the meeting was to look for ways to clean up crime in the community and to make residents feel safe again.

“We cannot continue to send a message to the criminals that they can do what they want to do and you have to live the consequences of their actions,” Purvis said.

During the meeting, Purvis stressed the urgency for neighborhood block watches to deter crime.

“I can’t say it enough. Block watches are effective – bad people do not like block watches. Strong block watches will force bad people out,” she said. “I try my best to attend all my neighborhood association meetings because I need to know, I want to know what is going on.”

Shawnee violence community conversation
A Shawnee resident asks a question during a community conversation on violence at Portland Memorial Baptist Church on Sept. 7, 2019.

Purvis said residents who form block watches shouldn’t get discouraged if participation is low because once they see people they know involved, it will encourage them to get involved.

Louisville Metro Police’s Second Division Commander Ryan Bates says communication between residents and the department is important to fighting crime. He says officers have not calls to areas that have had problems.

“We have seen a decrease in crime overall compared to last year. Property crime is down 26.2% from last year and our violent crime is down just 0.6%," he said.

Commander Bates says the force is continuing to try and decrease criminal activity in the area.

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