Friday June 22, 2007
Louisville Receives City Livability Award
Mayor Jerry E. Abramson leaves today for Los Angeles to participate in the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting. Abramson will spend the majority of his time meeting with experts about public safety and homeland security.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to meet with other mayors from cities across the country to share best practices and develop new ideas for strategies to keep citizens safe,” Abramson said.
Later this afternoon, Abramson will attend the Homeland Security Task Force meeting. This session focuses on a new federal grant program for cities to achieve interoperability between first responders. Abramson is investigating whether these dollars are available to help complete Phase III of MetroSafe – the city’s new communications network.
“These grants provide one-time funding for cities,” Abramson said. “Louisville is ahead of the game when it comes to connecting all of our first responders in the field, but we want to ensure our application has all the information needed to garner maximum funding for MetroSafe.”
Louisville is being honored by the U.S. Conference of Mayors for outstanding achievement in city livability. The city received the award for the Louisville Metro Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Team (CIT). The CIT program is a collaborative effort between local law enforcement and the mental health community to help officers deal more safely and effectively with mentally-ill residents. Louisville is a national model for CIT programs.
“Instead of simply arresting residents and taking them to jail, the CIT program trains our officers to identify signs of mental illness in the field and to ensure these residents are now taken to a mental-health facility for treatment,” Abramson said.
Abramson will also concentrate on environmental issues, attending the Climate Protection Task Force Meeting. Abramson will share local environmental initiatives with the task force, including efforts to construct “green” buildings when the new arena, fire stations and Metro Animal Services adoption center are built.
Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry and Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker are both attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting for the first time. Abramson will introduce the mayors at various meetings.
“For this first time, Kentucky will have a contingent of mayors at the meeting,” Abramson said. “We will be able to focus our efforts on things that are important to all of our cities.”
On Sunday, Abramson will be recognized as a past president of the organization at the U.S. Conference of Mayors 75th Anniversary Celebration.
Abramson will return to Louisville Monday evening.
Visit the U.S. Conference of Mayors website.