Mayor Greg Fischer addressed the community in a Letter to Citizens regarding the city's long-term approach in responding to the recent teen violence. The violence that occurred that night is unpleasant to read and there were many people that were harmed and many instances of vandalism. You can read more about the March 22 teen violence here.
In the letter, he addresses citizen’s concern over the haphazard nature of the March 22 teen violence that began on the Big Four Bridge and the city’s plan to ensure that these violent acts do not happen again. He goes on to say that the teens involved will be held accountable for the crimes that they committed and the parents and guardians who were so negligent will also be held accountable.
Mayor Fischer lists actions that are either in place or under consideration for the large portion of his letter to the citizens. These actions include: increased public safety presence, early warning systems, accountability, and youth development. In addition to youth development, the city is working on other efforts to develop these teens, which include: summer jobs, out of school time, community centers, and mentoring. These efforts will alleviate the violence and bring back a sense of safety to the community.
Since the violence, there has been an increased police presence downtown and at Waterfront Park on bikes, foot, horses, and in patrol cars. A highly visible new police substation will soon be located near the Yum! Center and the Fourth Street Live district. TARC has also enhanced their security on specific bus routes. There are 26 cameras that will be installed at Waterfront Park before Thunder over Louisville on April 12th. The city is also enhancing their social media awareness, due to the gathering that turned violent began on social media as a memorial for the late teen who was shot on the TARC.
There have been arrests made and the teens involved are being held accountable for their actions. Mayor Fischer recognizes the central role that parents and guardians have in the teen’s lives and are holding them accountable, also. This includes involvement and responsibility on the parent’s behalf and also following the potential enhancement to the city’s curfew law. Developing the youth is the most important thing and Mayor Fischer confirms that is going to be done.
The financial details associated with the actions in place or being considered will be communicated during Mayor Fischer’s speech to the Metro Council on May 22. This speech will address the new fiscal year budget that begins July 1. The violence has to cease and these actions will hopefully make Louisville feel safe again.
He concludes his letter saying that public safety is his top responsibility. He goes on to say that the FBI’s most recent comprehensive national crime report data from 2012 shows that of the 18 cities with as large of a population as Louisville, Louisville ranked as the 5th safest city. He confirms in many words that Louisville is a safe city and the violence of March 22 will not happen again.
What do you think about Mayor Fischer’s letter to citizens? Do you believe that this issue will be resolved and all actions in this letter will be demonstrated?
Photo courtesy of Courier-Journal