Louisville Business Group May Invest in Crime Fighting

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A group of executives assembled by Humana co-founder David Jones Sr. could help pay for Louisville initiatives aimed at curbing the homicide rate, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports. “There has been an interest among many leaders in that room about where the city can improve as it relates to crime,” said Jennifer Hancock of Volunteers of America. The Steering Committee for Action on Louisville’s Agenda (SCALA) has been meeting with city officials to better understand the city’s violence intervention strategies. Hancock is co-chair of a subcommittee on public safety for the group, which includes 70 business, faith and nonprofit leaders from across the city. “If there are funding shortfalls because of grants or government support, this is a group that could come forward with resources that could further some of these interventions,” she said.

The city’s safe neighborhoods director, Rashaad Abdur-Rahmann, plans to talk to the group about Louisville’s Cure Violence model, which seeks to reduce neighborhood violence by treating crime like an infectious disease, according to Mayor Greg Fischer’s office. “I want to make it clear to this group that if we’re talking about public safety we’re talking about a comprehensive approach,” Abdur-Rahmann said. “That means engaging youth, community building and connecting people with resources of support. But we’re not looking at an incarceration model.” Cure Violence, a program started in Chicago, has people work as “violence interrupters” to de-escalate neighborhood tensions before they turn into clashes. In Louisville, the Metro Council allocated about $550,000 last year to hire about a dozen people — mostly reformed drug dealers, gang members and convicted felons with street credibility — to go into high-crime areas to help calm tensions.

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