The Rev. Louis Coleman has attended nearly a dozen recent funerals of people slain in Louisville, listening as mothers and fathers described how drugs ripped apart their families, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal. Coleman looks at the number of homicides in the community and worries how high it will climb before the violence is curbed. So far, there have been 31 this year – eight more than this time last year. Police say nearly one-third of this year’s slayings have been related to drugs.
Coleman’s Justice Resource Center has invited a city official from Little Rock, Ark., to visit Louisville this week to talk about how that city fought a nationally publicized battle against gangs and drugs a decade ago. Marq Golden, youth services assistant for Little Rock, will speak Thursday. Golden will talk about Little Rock’s trouble in the early 1990s, when gang and drug violence was so rampant that the nightly news was constantly detailing gang killings. Voters approved a ½-cent sales tax, which last year alone raised $16.9 million to pay for youth programs, neighborhood treatment centers and special police enforcement projects. Nearly a decade after the city began prevention programs and city leaders began working with police, juvenile crime has dropped 60 percent in Little Rock, Golden said.