LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - After four straight years of declines, Louisville's homicide total jumped 28 percent, from 54 last year to 69 in 2012.
"What we know is that we cannot arrest our way out of the problem," said Mayor Greg Fischer. "People have been doing that for years and years. "For us to sit back and say this is a police problem, clearly that doesn't work and we've seen that."
A WAVE 3 hidden camera investigation found rampant, unchecked drug dealing in the high homicide zones, and people passing around guns in front of a community center.
"That's what you see. Most of the violence around the city is related to drugs, availability of drugs, selling of drugs, people are trying to enforce their distribution mechanisms, then when there's a killing here that's a retribution that takes place we need to interrupt," Fischer said.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said the way to turn things around is to intervene early, and individually.
"We have a program in the city now called KidTrax. It ties into JCPS and several of our community centers so you can identify by each kid, how they're doing in school, what help they need, and do they have an external problem they need help with as well," he said.
As in years past, most of the homicides are happening in the same part of town. And 4 out of every 5 homicides are committed with a gun.
"Just knowing who has guns," Fischer said. "Most of the crimes that have homicides associated with them, the guns are not registered legally to somebody. So if we just know where the guns are and who has them. That would be a giant step toward getting control over this issue."
The biggest problem these days in these homicides is getting witnesses to provide information. The mayor said Neighborhood Response Teams will be in place in 2013, made up of trained crisis counselors, who will immediately respond to shooting scenes, try to prevent more violence, and try to get people to share what they know with authorities.
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725 S. Floyd Street
Louisville, KY 40203