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Metro Newsroom

Minority Affairs Committee receives update on Metro Police efforts in fighting gangs

Tuesday November 28, 2006

Majority Caucus
Louisville Metro Council
For More Information Contact:
Tony Hyatt: 574-4137/ 526-3622
For Immediate release:

Louisville – In an effort to learn more about existing and potential gangs in the Louisville area, members of the Council’s Minority Affairs committee were updated during their meeting on Monday.

Lt. Colonel Phillip Turner of Metro Police appeared before the committee to talk about efforts to recognize and control gang problems.

“It is an ongoing effort,” he said. “Many of the gangs we are dealing with are local and stay pretty much in a specific neighborhood.”

Turner said police officers have both central and decentralized ways of keeping track of potential gang activity in the city. “I am very pleased at our efforts,” he told the committee.

Committee Chairwoman Barbara Shanklin (D) 2 called Turner to help brief members about any potential problems with gangs.

“We have many situations where it would appear that youth violence is the result of turf battles,” she said. “I just want to see if there are ways for the community to do what it can to curb the problem.”

Shanklin noted that recent efforts to relocate residents from areas where traditional housing projects are being renovated may have caused some of the problems of shootings and crime.

“We have been successful in talking with kids and neighbors to help us out,” said Turner. “But it is a problem we will have to deal with from time to time.” He noted that the Department does have enough officers and resources to handle any potential new gangs and disrupt current ones.

The Department has an officer in each of its eight districts to handle gang violence and related information. Each of those officers shares information from all over the city in the event new gangs arise, or if turf battles break out.

Police officers have also become aware of groups of young people who may not be in a gang but are committing crimes like assault and robbery.

“We always changing the strategy depending on the new trends we see out on the street,” said Turner.

“I know we would like to see any kind of a short term fix,” says Shanklin. “We have got to look at all of things we as a community can do to deal with this violence.”

Turner says one thing that has helped is the Metro Police Tip Line which has become a valuable resource in fighting and solving crimes.

The Tip Line Number is 574-LMPD.

Barbara Shanklin (D) 2