‘That’s not acceptable’: U.S. Attorney talks combating violence in Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — United States Attorney Russell Coleman and other federal and local law enforcement partners announced 118 felony offenders possessing firearms have been charged in 2019 thus far. This is part of their ongoing Project Guardian effort to fight back against what they call, the violence crime plaguing Metro Louisville.

“As of this morning we’ve lost 93 fellow Louisvillians, 93 Louisvillians to homicide. 287 shootings in this community over the last year,” said Coleman. “That’s not acceptable.”

Coleman says amount of felons charged, is a 67% increase over the last two years. Now they are convicted felons, drug users and other offenders to not carry or use a firearm.

“The commonwealths attorney, the united states attorney, working alongside LMPD, will do everything we can, to send you to prison as long as the law allows,” Coleman said.

While their hope is for removing weapons to equal less homicides, right now that’s not the case. 2019 was deadlier than 2018 and it’s something LMPD Chief Steve Conrad says is a result of the budget cuts.

“We took a five and a half million dollar cut in our budget this year. That’s for the police department alone,” Conrad added.

Now LMPD is relying on their federal partners to make the community safer with less officers on the streets and less units.

“Less resources for law enforcement will lead to increases in crime and that’s just the realitym” Conrad said. “We are working together collaboratively and we’re doing what we can with our good citizens to try to make this community safer, but it is clearly a work in progress.”

The partners in this project include counterparts from the Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine’s Office, LMPD, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). 

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