City officials trying something new to confront record homicides

City officials trying something new to confront record homicides
Russell Coleman , U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.
Russell Coleman , U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.
Louisville mayor Greg Fischer
Louisville mayor Greg Fischer (Source: Louisville Metro Government)
Louisville Metro will try a new approach to reducing violence called Group Violence Intervention.
Louisville Metro will try a new approach to reducing violence called Group Violence Intervention. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman challenged the public to hold officials accountable as they try something new to stem Louisville’s deadly violence.

“We have 140 homicides, 140 individual stories and empty chairs in this city and we are failing,” Coleman said. “And I say that as chief federal law enforcement officer for this district. We are failing neighborhoods and we are failing this community.”

Coleman’s comments came during an online news conference with Louisville city officials.

Mayor Greg Fischer’s administration will try a new approach to reducing violence called Group Violence Intervention. Developed by criminologist David Kennedy at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, the approach targets individuals most in danger of being involved in violence either as a victim or participant. Used with success in other cities including Boston and Cincinnati, the approach intervenes with high risk individuals to keep them safe and out of jail.

“And when they are safe they have no need to get guns. They have no need to carry their guns,” Kennedy said. “There’s much less reason to have somebody to watch your back.”

Officials in the news conference said the approach is not a cure. Coleman challenged the public to demand results.

“Hold us accountable for implementing this the right way,” Coleman said. “Because that’s great that we stand here in a media announcement and hear happy talk, but we must implement it the right way.”

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