Louisville mayoral candidates share thoughts on Big Four Bridge shooting, Louisville’s gun violence
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville’s gun violence problem has once again risen to the forefront of a citywide conversation, following a weekend shooting at the Big Four Bridge.
A Louisville Metro Police spokesperson told WAVE News five teenagers were shot and a nine-year-old child was grazed by a bullet Saturday night. Two of the victims are listed in critical condition, while police believe the others will survive their injuries.
After the shooting, WAVE News asked Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer how to address the issue of rising violence near the waterfront.
“We want to see if increased police patrol will help,” Fischer said. “We’ll continue to make sure lighting is in place, our camera systems are set up there. The work that we do with our community violence intervention specialist also needs to be part of this also. So it’s a multi-faceted approach.”
On Tuesday, WAVE News took the same questions to the men running to become Louisville’s next mayor.
Craig Greenberg and Bill Dieruf participated in a forum Tuesday afternoon hosted by Greater Louisville Incorporated, where they answered questions about their respective visions for the city.
After the forum, WAVE News asked each candidate how they would address the shooting at the bridge.
“I think one important thing that can be done in the aftermath of these tragedies is transparency,” Greenberg said. “To build trust between the community and the police department there must be transparency. And that includes a lot of real-time communication to answer questions, to provide body camera footage. And so, as I aspire to help support our officers, to attract more officers to LMPD, to have the best police department in America, that means the most trained, the most trusted and the most transparent.”
“Well first thing is the police presence,” Dieruf said. “We are 300 police officers short by contract. But we’re short more than that and we need police officers downtown. As you heard me mention in there, we need a district downtown that protects downtown and keeps it safe. The presence of police officers around both eliminates some of the crime, because you know what’s going on. You find out what’s going on ahead of time and you eliminate it before it happens, rather than try to investigate after it happens.”
WAVE News also asked the candidates how they plan to get illegal guns off the streets and particularly out of the hands of children.
“The first thing you have to do is what everybody keeps talking about (Group Violence Intervention,)” Dieruf said. “Eliminating the gang leaders and the cartel leaders that are leading our youth astray. Because they realize right now with the youth detention center that is not out there right now, granted they may bring something in, but it’s going to be half... It’s going to be a part-time youth detention center. We need something that really helps these kids, to house them, to make sure there’s consequences for something that they do, so the gang leaders don’t use them because they realize nothing will happen.”
”We can implement programs like Group Violence Intervention,” Greenberg said. “We can invest more in mental health programs to help prevent these tragedies from happening before they happen. And at the federal level, we can encourage our elected leaders in the House and Senate to implement some of these common sense gun legislation that’s just been proposed by the Senate. I’m a strong supporter of that. We need to do everything possible to end this senseless gun violence here in Louisville.”
The two candidates will be present for another forum Thursday morning at the Rotary Club of Louisville.
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