UK, Lexington police increasing patrols to address issues related to off-campus parties

UK, Lexington police increasing patrols to address issues related to off-campus parties
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 3:53 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A shooting near campus and a major disturbance on State Street after a UK game has police stepping up patrols.

UK police is teaming up with the Lexington Police Department to create a stronger presence. But it’s coming at time when LPD is already facing several shortages.

This isn’t the first time UK police and Lexington police have partnered together to monitor off campus activities. In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, both agencies increased patrols as a form of crowd control when COVID restrictions were still in place.

“With recent occurrences over the past week, Chief Weathers and I discussed it and decided it’s time to readdress these issues and reeducate everyone on the rules,” UK Police Chief Joe Monroe said.

Those recent occurrences include an off-campus party where one student was shot and 10 were injured by shrapnel after a shooting broke out last Thursday. Then, on Saturday night of the same week, police say a fire was started in a roadway and a car was overturned when a very large crowd of students took to State Street after UK football’s win.

“We’re really focused on making sure everyone is responsible in their behaviors. They’re responsible in what they do and they’re accountable in their actions. Our student code of conduct lasts on and off campus,” Monroe said.

Monroe said they’re partnering with Lexington police several nights a week in an expansive patrol of off-campus neighborhoods, where most of the neighbors are students.

“We pair one UK officer up with one Lexington officer and we’ll have several teams of them out in the neighborhoods starting tonight. Then next week it will be every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday that these teams will be out there enforcing,” Monroe said.

While this isn’t the first time for this type of partnership, again, it is coming at a time when the police department is short 115 people, according to the FOP president, and at a time with several recent shootings and homicides due to gun violence.

WKYT did reach out to an LPD spokesperson about how this partnership around the university’s campus is feasible right now and how it will affect patrolling elsewhere in the city. We have not heard back yet.