LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Violent crime is down in Louisville Metro Police Department’s 1st Division, according to Major Eric Johnson, reporting zero homicides in the last 15 weeks.
The First Division includes Butchertown, Portland, Russell, Downtown and Phoenix Hill. The latest statistics reporting that violent crime in the First Division is down nearly 50 percent with neighborhoods like Portland seeing a 37 percent decrease and Russel seeing a 35 percent decrease.
“We have seen a 67 percent decrease in homicides and we have seen an almost 50 percent decrease in all violent crime in the area and I think that is something that all of us should think about and congratulate the Louisville Metro Police Department,” said Metro Council’s Barbara Sexton-Smith with District 4.
Sexton-Smith crediting some of that to Police Chief Steve Conrad's plan to reorganize the department at the end of 2016.
“He re-deployed folks and re-assigned folks and it's working. This is proof positive that it's working,” she explained.
As the signs of summer continue in full swing, where kids can be seen laughing and playing at Sheppard Park in the Russell neighborhood, some are still expecting more when it comes to safety.
“My biggest concerns is one for the kids, we have suspicious characters walking around,” said Amber Hayes, who works as a community volunteer with the AmeriCorps VISTA program.
She takes kids to Sheppard Park every day. She says she'd feel safer seeing more police patrolling the area, but is pleased with the progress so far.
“I do like the fact that they are making an effort to keep the crime levels down. First steps, baby steps, you're not going to get everything done in one day,” she explained.
Community Activist Christopher 2X applauding the work by the First Division, as well.
“The first division has been plagued, bombarded with shootings and homicidal situations and for them to not have those kind of numbers in 15 weeks is a success,” he said.
Christopher 2X told WHAS11 News that it's progress, but remembers the years before* Louisville would surpass 100 homicides a year, and hopes the city doesn't settle.
“We were getting 50, top up to 70 homicides a year and we were really like, that's too many. So I hope we're not going to be satisfied if we get 60 or 70 homicides and say, 'oh we did great.'”