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LMPD chief boasts about efforts to curb crime at National Night Out

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 12:59 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2021 at 1:13 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - National Night Out, held on Tuesday, coincided with Louisville setting crime records and the police department’s leadership pledging to bridge divides and build relationships.

Chief Erika Shields of the Louisville Metro Police Department claims that some changes have been made in tackling crime in the city. She said she has supervised a concentrated crime-fighting effort in two of the department’s most violent divisions, the 2nd and 4th, which she says has resulted in less crime. Shields also noted that officers are making substantial arrests and providing proper policing, but more needs to be done, which involves the courts.

On August 1st, the LMPD Homicide Reports indicated the LMPD 1st through 4th Divisions had recorded the most homicides in a year with 115 total. The 1st Division has 16 homicides, the 2nd Division has 39 homicides, the 3rd Division has 10 and the 4th Division has 25.

Shields said she wants to see judges help the community, too.

“We had (a suspect) this past week, in addition to pointing a gun at officers, (leading police on) a car-chase, and oh, by the way, shot two women and the (suspect) gets a $10,000 bond,” Shields said. “I mean, what planet are we on?”

A life of crime at home is a problem, Evelyca Johnson said.

“I have conversations with (my kids) about how they should be when they grow up,” Johnson said. “How important it is to get along with other people and be respectful of others.”

Karen Endour said she and her grandchildren, who have grown up without a grandfather, have had a similar conversation with her. In 2016, Endour said she found out her ex-husband, Darnell Wicker, was shot and killed by police during a domestic violence call after Wicker refused to put down a knife.

“I guess they were doing their job, but lives are lost and the impact of it is very intense,” Endour said.

Endour was one of the hundreds of people at Iroquois Park who came to make a community of people and police people during the LMPD and National Night Out. During Tuesday’s event, Endour told officers that police and the community must partner up for a better quality of life.

“That way, families can feel secure knowing the police are there to take care of us,” she said.

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