After six homicides in six days in western Louisville, the mayor and police chief yesterday vowed to blanket the city with officers, focusing on the neighborhoods where the violence has surged, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal. Metro Police Chief Robert White said officers will “be paid overtime until we get our arms around this problem,” adding that some will be in uniform, while others will tackle drug issues while undercover. White and Mayor Jerry Abramson also pledged to increase community policing. Beat officers will be told to “get out of their police cars, go knock on doors and introduce themselves,” White said. Asked how that differs from what he has asked officers to do for the past two years, White said, “Now it will be a mandate.”
Abramson cautioned that police cannot solve the problem alone, and he called on residents to assist the authorities with block-watch groups and to work with police to fight crime. White would not say how many additional officers will be deployed to stem homicides, which total 59 in metro Louisville this year. The community is on pace to have its deadliest year since 1997, when 68 people were killed in the former city of Louisville. White could not “speak to specifically why we have 59 homicides compared to 51 last year.” Officials have called 25 to 30 of the homicides drug-related. Two or three were related to gang activity, and about 10 involved domestic violence.