Thursday October 5, 2006
Past Two Years Net 19,000 Calls and 600 Arrests
Mayor Jerry Abramson and Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert White today marked the two-year anniversary of the 574-LMPD tip line by announcing the expansion of this successful initiative.
Since its launch in October 2004, the tip line has received 19,000 calls from residents that have lead to more than 600 arrests, including arrests in 18 homicide cases.
“The tip line has allowed our residents to engage with our police officers in fighting and preventing crime in their neighborhoods,” White said. “With this expansion, the 574-LMPD unit is stepping up our efforts to investigate tips and connect with residents.”
New 574-LMPD Services
Collaboration with Metro United Way 211 - Staff with the 574-LMPD tip line will forward calls to the Louisville Metro United Way’s 211 telephone service. Residents calling in tips who also may need assistance with social services, such as drug treatment or domestic violence counseling, will be connected to 211. Residents, calling 211 for information who would like to speak with a police officer, will be transferred to 574-LMPD.
574-LMPD Streamlining Investigations - The 574-LMPD unit will now conduct preliminary background searches on suspects and prioritize those tips before they are sent out to division detectives. This frees up police personnel in neighborhoods to serve warrants and make arrests instead of researching addresses and suspect arrest histories.
New Marketing Efforts – The police department has forged a partnership with TARC, which is posting the 574-LMPD tip line number on all of its buses. The police department will also launch a new series of public service announcements on television to educate residents about the prevention of domestic violence, elder abuse and manufacturing of methamphetamines.
Increasing Outreach to Latino Residents – A bilingual, Spanish-speaking officer has been added to the 574-LMPD unit. The 574-LMPD tip line is now being promoted in a local Spanish language newspaper.
Creating Central Contact for Community Policing Programs - 574-LMPD is now the number to call for residents interested in establishing a Neighborhood Watch group. Abramson moved the Neighborhood Watch program under the auspice of LMPD. In the past two years, 200 active block watches have been formed in Louisville.
Surveillance Cameras - By the end of the year, surveillance cameras will be installed in target neighborhoods to monitor and prevent crime. Staff from the 574-LMPD unit will monitor the surveillance system and report findings to division command staff.
“We have always envisioned the tip line as an outreach program for our residents,” Abramson said. “The program has been tremendously successful, and we want to make sure it continues moving forward as our residents continue stepping forward to prevent crime.”
Chief White created the 574-LMPD tip line two years ago as part of his overall strategy to get citizens more involved with preventing and solving crimes. White realized there were several phone numbers for people in Louisville to call if they had information to provide about a crime. All lines were answered by recording machines rather than police personnel.
White formed 574-LMPD, launched an aggressive marketing campaign and staffed the tip line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
“When residents are reporting information to the police – minutes and seconds matter,” White said. “We want to make sure we have personnel available to quickly respond to tips we receive.”
Last year, several ministers approached the leadership of the police department about joining them in the 574-LMPD program. That resulted in a partnership that allows ministers to receive information from residents and anonymously report that information to officers.
“Our past success and these new initiatives would not be possible without the help of our community partners,” Abramson said. “It’s always encouraging when residents and members of the business community step forward to support the work our police officers are doing.”