LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

Police working to end violence, ease community fears


Louisville Metro Police are working six homicides that were committed in just four days. As the work to put those responsible behind bars continues, police also have another job at hand - easing the fears of the community.

"We had a tragic weekend this weekend in the city," said Lt. Todd Kessinger, commander of the LMPD Homicide Unit. "When we have one homicide, that's one homicide too many but when you have six homicides in four days it puts a little stress on the community as well as the police department."

Just last year, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said he had a goal "to create the safest large city in America." With the recent string of murders, it's hard to tell if that goal is being met.

"Public safety is the number one responsibility of government and we should be doing more to stem the tide of violence," said Councilman David James (D-District 6).

James was a part of a task force created to curb the violence. The Violence Prevention Task Force was created after a day marked by extreme violence. On May 17, 2012, three people were murdered and three others were shot in the Parkland neighborhood. After the shootings, Fischer spearheaded the creation of the group and appointed Anthony Smith as violence coordinator.

"We want to give people hope," said Fischer.

In October 2012, the task force, a collaboration of schools, non-profits and government, came up with 123 pages worth of ideas to curb violence. Councilwoman Attica Scott (D-District 1) said the goal was "to say first of all we need to be talking to one another about the work that we're doing and secondly we have to craft a plan of action."

When WAVE 3 News placed calls to Fischer and Smith to check the progress of the Violence Prevention Task Force, both unavailable for comment during normal business hours. James said Smith can only do so much.

"We didn't give him a budget and people to work for him," said James.

According to James, the group has not had a meeting in 2013. When asked if the group even still exists, James said "at this point, I would say no."