Thursday February 26, 2009
Mayor Jerry Abramson and Chief Robert White today unveiled a new anti-meth advertising campaign created by Bandy Carroll Hellige (BCH), a Louisville based advertising and public relations company. Since November 2007, BCH has donated more than $30,000 in the creative development and execution of a multi-phased campaign that includes outdoor billboards, bus and bus shelter advertising and a television public service announcement.
The campaign's latest phase focuses on common household products that are often used to make methamphetamine and encourages citizens to call the 574-LMPD tipline if they notice people regularly purchasing and throwing away such items. Items such as lithium batteries, drain cleaner and two liter bottles are prominently featured as key ingredients in meth.
"I want to thank Bandy Carroll Hellige for their commitment to this project and to the community," said Abramson. "Community-wide issues like meth use, require a community-wide response, and I'm pleased that Bandy Carroll Hellige has stepped up to make our city a better place."
Arrests for possession and manufacturing of methamphetamine have grown steadily each year in Metro Louisville. Just three years ago in 2006, Metro Police busted 56 meth labs. In 2007, that number increased to 68 and 2008 saw the largest number of meth labs broken up with a total of 93. Since February 25 of this year, Metro Police have busted 24 meth labs.
"Since we first started working with Bandy Carroll Hellige in late 2007, we've had a 36% increase in our meth arrests," said White. "I believe a lot of that can be attributed to the advertising and public education campaign directed by Bandy Carroll Hellige. Thanks to them, our citizens are better informed about the dangers of meth labs and taking steps to call the crime tip hotline to report this activity."
LMPD has contracted four large billboards featuring the anti-meth campaign, which are prominently located along I-71 at River Road, I-65 and Preston, 7249 Dixie Highway and I-264 at Curtis Avenue. The campaign also includes public service announcements on WDRB, WHAS and WLKY, along with advertisements on bus shelters and fullback TARC displays. Once the campaign ends in August, it's expected more than 500,000 people will have been exposed to the dangers of meth and the crime tip hotline. Another anti-meth commercial produced by Metro Narcotics and Metro TV was previously shown on WAVE in the fall of 2008.
"We are proud to partner with LMPD and to help address this important community safety issue," said Gary Sloboda, partner and creative director with BCH. "This phase of the campaign is focused on making people aware of just how common meth components are, so that citizens can be additional 'eyes and ears' for our police department in looking out for potential meth labs."
LMPD received a $450,000 federal grant in 2007 to enhance its Metro Narcotics Unit and develop an anti-meth public education campaign. In addition to the billboards, public service announcements, buses and shelters, the grant money was also used to develop a pseudoephedrine task force and provide clandestine lab investigation training for Metro Narcotics officers. Members of the task force review electronic pharmaceutical records to identify people who make multiple purchases of pseudoephedrine. So far, the task force has arrested 41 people and has a 100% conviction rate.
The anti-meth message is a part of LMPD's Keep Louisville Safe campaign. Previous topics in the campaign have included Campus Safety, Domestic Violence Awareness and Auto Theft Prevention.