LMPD's VIPER unit seizes 13 stolen firearms from convicted felon - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

LMPD's VIPER unit seizes 13 stolen firearms from convicted felon

Lieutenant Kit Steimle Lieutenant Kit Steimle
Guns confiscated by the VIPER Unit. Guns confiscated by the VIPER Unit.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Being proactive not reactive. A new Metro police unit is having big success in its crackdown on crime.

Louisville Metro Police Department's Viper unit is targeting neighborhoods with high crime rates. Thursday night, the viper unit seized 13 stolen rifles, shotguns and pistols from a six-time convicted felon. For neighborhoods where people say crime is an issue the new unit means something for them: a sense of safety.

The Violent Incident Prevention Enforcement and Response, or VIPER Unit, hit the streets the first week of October. In that short time, it's made what police call a nice dent in the number of crimes plaguing some neighborhoods.

Lieutenant Kit Steimle, Commander of the VIPER Unit, said, "It basically says that if you're carrying guns illegally, in Louisville, that we're going to get you."

Thursday night's bust of more than a dozen guns is the latest in a successful launch for the VIPER unit. 31 officers make up the unit and they all have the same goal of making the city safer.

"I've only lived here since March and I've seen a lot of violence," Fairdale resident and mother of a young child, Victoria Sykes said. "A lot of crime."

Sykes is glad to hear about viper and the crime problems it's tackling.

"I think it is a big deal and cops need to be more aware of it," she said.

Police are more aware of violence in the River city. Flash back to May 17, when three people were killed in Louisville. One of them, right in front of police, the media, and neighbors. WAVE 3 video shows the terrifying scene as shots are fired that day. It is something Police Chief Steve Conrad wants to prevent from ever happening again.

"And, really, it's all about making sure that we have officers in the right place using the right techniques and tactics," Conrad told WAVE 3.

That is good news for people like Sykes.

"Safety, protection," she said. "It'll make me feel more safe and I can actually have a home."

Providing peace of mind for her, her family, and for anyone who wants to live without fear.

Steimle said others might be involved in the crime and they wouldn't want to tip them off. that is why police don't want to release the suspect's name. A suspect faces 13 counts of possession of stolen firearms.

Chief Conrad stresses community involvement in fighting crime. If you have information on any crime, you're asked to call the anonymous tipline at (502) 574-LMPD.

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