During last year’s political campaign, we interviewed David James—then candidate, now councilman—and asked him what he saw as the most important need in Metro Louisville’s 6th District. His response was: “Metro Government must also work to keep our streets safe and keep criminals where they belong – behind bars. Our neighborhood citizens must feel safe to keep their front doors open and stay tuned in to what is going on in our neighborhoods. Safe neighborhoods are happy neighborhoods and I will work with Metro police and use my 25 years of law enforcement experience to benefit the residents of District 6.”
Back in April, Councilman David James (Dem., 6th Dist.) began delivering on this campaign promise, when he announced a new effort to curb a recent increase in automobile break-ins in the Old Louisville area. His plan was to partner with officers in the Louisville Metro Police 4th Division to provide target foot patrolling for a 14 day period in areas where such break-ins have been on the increase.
“Working with the 4th Division, we are aware cars have been a very easy target over the last few months,” said James. “We will be coordinating foot patrols with officers to be more visible on the streets in a two week initiative designed to bring more police presence and community involvement to assist officers in stopping these crimes.”
Well, today Councilman James announced some good news for residents of Old Louisville. A recent “Street Blitz” of the neighborhood, in which officers of the LMPD Fourth District instituted a “zero tolerance” policy and investigated all suspicious behavior, has lead to a significant decrease in burglaries in the Old Louisville area.
“I am very pleased with the outcome of our 14 day effort to crack down on crime in Old Louisville,” says James. “Major Kim Kraeszig and all officers of the 4th Division deserve our thanks for their diligence in preventing crime and working with the community.”
James provided $10,833 in funding for extra overtime to focus on an area surrounding Central Park – from First to Sixth Streets and Oak to Hill Streets. It utilized officers on foot, bike and ATV’s as needed during certain hours of the day.
In a four week period from April to May, the 4th Division confirmed a 37% decrease in overall burglaries. During the blitz, contact was made with 114 people who were either violating the law or acting suspiciously, 31 citations were issued, and 12 misdemeanor arrests were made. There were also five felony arrests, including the apprehension of one of “Louisville’s Most Wanted”.
“Public safety will always be my top priority and I’m encouraged to see that this type of focus on a neighborhood can make such a significant difference in crime rates,” says James. “Officers have also told us that the community’s interaction with them went a long way in making these crime numbers decrease.”
Other statistics from relating to the “Street Blitz” include:
- Caught one of Louisville’s most wanted - Leon Thornton - 4 counts of Sexual Abuse 1st degree
- 30% of the people officers came in contact with had theft related criminal histories
- 15% of those stopped were convicted felons
- 10 Bench warrants served
- Overall crime has decreased by 9% on beat since the first of the year
- The Fourth Division has seen a 14.3% decrease in overall crime for the year
“The Street Blitz has great potential to assist other areas of Metro Louisville faced with increases in criminal activity,” says James. “This effort has been a great partnership between police officers, the Old Louisville neighborhood and my office.
Councilman David James talks about Old Louisville