For Immediate Release: Pegasus Institute Announces “Louisville Initiative for Violence Eradication” (LIVE), Releases Reports Aimed at Reducing Homicides in Louisville
Louisville- In a three part report, Pegasus Institute, a public policy think-tank based in Louisville, Kentucky, made comprehensive policy proposals aimed at addressing Louisville’s growing violent crime problem. The Louisville Initiative for Violence Eradication (LIVE) deals with policing tactics, environmental factors, and legislative changes that the group’s research indicates will lower Louisville’s homicide rate.
In a report released with the proposals, the group found that Louisville’s current homicide spike is the worst in the cities history, with an increase of 110% between 2014 and 2016. This spike far exceeds Louisville’s previous record spike, which occurred between 1969 and 1971 at a jump of 44.7%. While many similar sized metro areas have experienced spikes in violent crimes, Louisville is unique in its degree.
Pegasus Institute Co-Executive Director Jordan Harris notes that the problem is concentrated inside of the Watterson Expressway, in much of the area that made up the city prior to the county-city merger in 2003. Harris found that, “Using a conservative estimate of a population, inside the Watterson Expressway is just under 275,000 residents, meaning that with 84 total murders in 2016, this area had a murder rate of 30.5 per 100,000. If considered in isolation, this would be the 8th most dangerous major city in America, edging out Chicago, Illinois, which has a murder rate of 27.7 per 100,000.”
A separate portion of the report, authored by Pegasus Institute Co-Executive Director Josh Crawford, contends that the spike is not directly caused by the opioid crises, but is instead caused by a small number of gang members who perpetrate a disproportionate amount of the city’s violent crime. Attempting to reduce homicides by focusing solely on the drug market, Crawford claims, will not have the impact that Louisville needs to end the murder spike.
Crawford acknowledges that this argument might be tough to fathom, “because drugs and violence so often exist in the same spheres,” but they require unique solutions. Crawford notes an attempt to isolate the drug market in Nashville, which was successful in doing so, but failed to impact the violent crime rate in the target area. Crawford offers hope that Louisville can avoid a similar mistake by developing independent strategies to address both problems.
The group offers a four tiered solution as part of the LIVE initiative.
A focused deterrence policing strategy targeting street gangs
Tearing down abandoned buildings identified as crime hotspots using mapping technology
Improving street lighting on vulnerable streets and neighborhood
Tailored gang enhancement legislation passed by the state legislature
Click Here to Read the Report in its Entirety
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