Mayor Abramson and Chief White Unveil Auto Crime Prevention Campaign
Wednesday March 19, 2008
Mayor Jerry Abramson and Chief Robert White today unveiled a new awareness campaign designed to reduce the number of auto thefts and thefts from autos. Those two offenses account for nearly 30% of Louisville Metro's crime rate. Officials are looking toward their partnership with Doe Anderson, a national branding, advertising and public relations agency, to alleviate the problem.
In the first two months of this year, Louisville Metro Police responded to 360 auto thefts. There were a total of 3,327 auto thefts for all of 2007. Both of those numbers increase greatly when looking at thefts from autos. A large number of the crimes occurred when citizens failed to properly secure their vehicles or the items inside. The use of a few simple, proactive measures can easily reduce the two offenses and the number of citizens who fall victim to auto-related crimes.
"Investigating auto thefts and thefts from automobiles takes up an enormous amount of our officers' time and these are crimes that are easily preventable," Abramson said. "We want our citizens to know they can protect themselves and help out our officers just by taking a couple of easy, quick steps like making sure the car doors are always locked."
In 2007, Metro Police distributed nearly 10,000 anti-theft stickers that included a warning to citizens, and criminals respectively, to secure their vehicles and the penalties for auto related thefts. Postcards with tips on preventing auto related crimes were also placed on vehicle windshields. This year's campaign will focus on billboards reminding people to "Put Your Junk in Your Trunk." Officers throughout the department's eight divisions will also begin distributing bright green "tickets" to citizens recognizing them for their good theft-prevention habits. On the reverse side of the "ticket" will be tips on how to prevent auto thefts and thefts from auto. A specially designed cut-out in the image of a criminal will make its way to neighborhood meetings and community fairs reminding people not to become a victim of crime.
"This is the second time we've focused on vehicle related crimes in less than a year so that tells you how much of a problem it is," said Chief White. "We're hoping that our good citizen "tickets" will grab people's attention and encourage them to work a little harder at protecting themselves and their valuables."
Doe Anderson developed the good citizen "ticket" campaign as well as several other ideas focusing on the Keep Louisville Safe initiative and the crime tip hotline, 574-LMPD. Sullivan University donated its printing services to provide the department with thousands of the "tickets."
"We're delighted to partner with the Louisville Metro Police Department and their campaign to Keep Louisville Safe," said David Bonner, Chief Creative Officer. "Doe Anderson has been a part of Louisville for 93 years and the campaign provides an opportunity for us to affect positive change in the community we call home."
The campaign to "Put Your Junk in Your Trunk" was developed by the department with the assistance of JCC Technical Insitute which provided the set-up for the artwork. Later this year, Maloney Outdoor Advertising will begin installing billboards featuring the slogan throughout the Metro area.
Following today's news conference, the Mayor and the Chief took time out to record two public service announcements announcing the auto crime prevention campaign. The announcements will run on both Metro TV and Insight Television.
Among auto thefts, Metro Louisville had a 64% recovery rate in 2007 which is slightly higher than the national average rate of 60%. Nearly half of auto thefts occurred when the keys were left inside the vehicle or the vehicle was left running unattended. Ten months ago, the Ford F-150 topped the list as the most stolen vehicle in Louisville Metro. That title has since been overtaken by the Oldsmobile Cutlass, which now heads the list with 116 models stolen in 2007.
Keep Louisville Safe was introduced to the public in May when Abramson and White spoke out on the problem and prevention of elder abuse. Since that time, the two have introduced the crime mapping tool MetroWatch, alerted the public on the problem of domestic violence and addressed the problem of identity theft.
For more information about the Keep Louisville Safe initiative, visit http://www.louisvilleky.gov/MetroPolice/Keep+Louisville+Safe/
or call (502) 574-LMPD.