Office of Safe Neighborhoods Newsroom
Mayor Names Anthony Smith Director for Safe Neighborhoods
Tuesday February 19, 2013
Will work to implement Violence Prevention
Work Group recommendations
Saying that every neighborhood in Louisville must be safe and secure, Mayor Greg Fischer today named a new director who will oversee violence prevention and reduction strategies.
Fischer appointed Anthony Smith as Director for Safe Neighborhoods, a position designed in part to implement the recommendations of the Violence Prevention Work Group. Smith will work with business and civic organizations, schools, government and police to create a holistic approach to address the root causes of violence.
“Anthony has spent his lifetime building skills for this opportunity. He knows our city and has credibility in board rooms and in the community,” Fischer said. “He’s a team builder and he knows how to bring people together to improve our city.”
Smith starts his new role March 4th. Fischer introduced him today during the Simmons College Leadership West Louisville luncheon.
“I am very excited to serve in this role and I look forward to working with others to make sure all of our neighborhoods are safe and thriving,” Smith said.
Smith earned a bachelor’s degree from Northern Kentucky University and since 2008 has been Director of Network Organizing for the Network Center for Community Change (NC3) in Louisville. In that role, he brought churches, businesses, civic groups and citizens together to address a wide variety of community challenges, from education improvement to vacant properties.
He began his career in 1997 as a caseworker in the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office, preparing paternity cases for court. He later worked for the Louisville Urban League and for Jefferson County Public Schools as a career planner in adult education.
Smith is deeply involved in the community, including serving on the Board of Health, Habitat for Humanity, and 15,000 Degrees, part of the 55,000 Degrees initiative.
Fischer promised last fall to hire a violence prevention director following the recommendations of a 123-page report by the Violence Prevention Work Group that included a wide range of short and long-term ideas to stem violence and to create a culture in Louisville where every area of the city is safe.
The report concluded that reducing violence will take a comprehensive and sustained approach that involves all segments of society — city government, police, schools, non-profits, businesses, the court system and houses of worship.
One of the key recommendations was hiring one person in city government to oversee and coordinate the work — and to bring in resources outside of government to assist in the effort.
“My goal is to create the safest large city in America and Anthony will be focused on helping us reach that,” Fischer said. “City government or police alone cannot reduce violence. It takes an entire city — all 750,000 citizens — working toward this common goal.”
Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, who oversaw the work group, said the hiring of a director is a key factor in implementing potential solutions because one person in city government will be focused on it every day. Police Chief Steve Conrad echoed that sentiment.
“Police are only part of the solution,” Conrad said. “My team looks forward to working with Anthony because it takes all of us to create safe neighborhoods.”