Louisville boasts great local and college sports teams, a world-class downtown arena, a healthy economy, a re-vitalized downtown and waterfront, and arguably the best local meteorologists in the country.
However, Louisville, like so many other similarly sized areas across the country, continues to have a problem that just won’t seem to go away.
“I’ve lived in Louisville my whole life”, said Highland’s resident Anthony Hall. “And, although it seems to be relatively under control right now, the issue continues to be a blemish and I think it keeps some (people) from moving to, or visiting, Louisville. It’s really too bad, because from my perspective, the situation has improved, but I know not everyone feels that way”.
Statistics show that while the problem has not worsened in recent years, it also hasn’t shrunk at the rate that local lawmakers and police were hoping for when new measures went into effect in early 2017.
“We were very optimistic that the new policies and procedures would drastically reduce the number of incidents that we saw”, said police spokesperson Stacy Weber. “And while we are seeing a slight (drop) in the number of incidents, in some cases the severity of the individual incidents is worse, which is troubling. It seems like we’re just treading (water) when it comes to this problem”.
University of Louisville sociology professor Sidney Subban says that the most challenging part of solving a problem like this is determining its cause. “It’s a very complex problem, one that effects everyone in a community, regardless of socio-economic standing, race, or religion. The problem has roots not only in our city’s infrastructure, but there are also psychological and other intangible factors contributing.”
Subban also expressed concern that if the problem is not controlled soon, it could escalate.
“In addition to the difficulty of isolating the cause of the problem, there are also numerous factors that can cause it to escalate and become an even bigger problem, or lead to new problems, which is what (Louisville) could eventually experience”.
Weber vows that local law enforcement will continue to work with lawmakers until the problem is under control, and that it will also take heavy community involvement to rectify the situation.
“We’re going to work with not only Louisville Metro Government, but also smaller municipalities across Jefferson County, including but not limited to, Buechel, St Matthews, Fairdale, Jeffersontown, and the Highlands. We’ll even work with agencies in Southern Indiana if we have to”.
Regardless of the problem, Hall vows to remain in Louisville. “I mean, I love it here. People are friendly, I’m usually within five miles or so of a Target, we have Uber, and there are even food trucks downtown now. I think everything is going to work itself out”.