Louisville Public Safety Focus Brief

Tue, 2018-09-04 16:10 -- SCC Staff

Challenge Statement
Like many communities, we have seen a recent spike in violent crime. While we have seen progress, we need to reduce violent crime in Louisville.

Topics
Using Data to Identify System Interventions
Reaching High-Risk Individuals
Using Technology to deter crimes and support investigations

Specific Questions for Discussion
What data is available and how can it be used to understand where and how to intervene in the system to advance this goal?
How can impacted residents in affected areas be reached - by what channels and technologies?
How can existing public safety initiatives (e.g. Shot Spotter, drone program, connectivity, Cure violence initiative) be leveraged and built upon to make a bigger impact?

Background
Since taking office in 2011, Mayor Fischer's number one priority has been making Louisville a safer place to live for all residents no matter what zip code they live in. He has worked hard to ensure that both the police have what they need to be successful and to build stronger community bonds through violence reduction and community building work done by agencies like the Office of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods (OSHN). There are no short-term fixes for making Louisville a safer place, but the long journey has started.

Unfortunately, like most large cities across the nation, Louisville saw a spike in homicides over the past few years. And, the effect of these violent crimes goes beyond the stat sheet, they impact our residents and communities for years after they occur. A report released last year called "The Cost of Crime to Society: New Crime-Specific Estimates for Policy and Program Evaluation" found the total cost of a homicide to the victim and society was $8,982,907 in 2008 dollars. Gun violence can also have a lasting impact on younger generations, desensitizing children to the sights and sounds associated with gunfire, and introducing traumatic experiences at early developmental ages that have negative long term consequences. Even further, a neighborhood’s home values are also directly impacted by the presence of gun violence in the surrounding area. The effects of violent crimes, both direct and indirect impacts, can last for decades in our community.

There are signs of hope that the tide has turned. As of August this year, crime is down by 30% across the Metro area, and homicides are down 9%. But, there is still more to do.

Here is what we know about some of our challenges:

• Over 60% of the homicides involve 18-34 year olds
• 10% of victims are 11-17 years old
• 43% of homicides are committed indoors
• 27% of shooting occur between 8 pm and Midnight

Beyond bolstering our police force and making significant investments in community building, we have also looked for innovative solutions to support our efforts. Our violence reduction strategy includes the recent deployment of gunshot detection technology, which has been effective at pinpointing where and when gunshots occur. Police officers are on the scene within fourteen minutes on average. When used in combination with surveillance cameras monitored by the Real Time Crime Center, personnel are able to collect video evidence leading to higher clearance rates.

But, we need more innovative solutions and data sources to help us continue to make an impact on our number one priority of making Louisville a safer place to live.