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More crime and heavy expense come with the Consent Decree territory
The LMPD Consent Decree Series, Post 2 - Louisville can learn from Cleveland, Ohio
A Consent Decree. Have you thought much about it? Maybe you think a CD between the U.S. Department of Justice and the Louisville Metro Police Department would be helpful to eliminate any police wrongdoing in our city.
Fuzzily, you may wonder how the CD will affect your average day, your neighborhood and your life.
Recently a Louisville civic group wanted to learn more about Consent Decrees from the standpoint of how one would alter our safety and tax burden. They were unable to find a speaker. It seems to be an idea whose time has come but is not yet in the room.
Since no speaker could be located in Kentucky, one person was asked to try finding a speaker from Cleveland, a CD city not terribly far from Louisville. This person was advised by Cleveland authorities to google “Cleveland Police Consent Decree.”
The $60M figure would cover about eight years, or $7.5M annually. The county where Cleveland is located has about 1.5X more people than Jefferson County. We assume our annual expense would be less.
The speaker-scout was also told to google ‘Monitoring Team’ and the ‘Cleveland Police Commission’ which was formed recently as a result of the CD. In reviewing these web pages, we note that the team and commission members are not elected officials, but they do oversee the CD. So, it seems a CD will make our elected officials’ work a lot easier.
We can search on the web and find statistics and comments about crime in Cleveland. There are varying reports. The TravellersWorldwide website says for 2023:
If you visit Cleveland, you will have to be on your guard about where you go. Unfortunately, Cleveland has one of the highest crime rates in the United States, including property and violent crime.
The only “good” news, at least for visitors, is that crime is drastically segregated by neighborhood, so it primarily affects locals, not tourists. According to most metrics, Cleveland is the most dangerous city in Ohio because it has the highest crime rate.
So much for the monitoring team. That must be why Cleveland formed the new police commission.
Where are the recent crime statistics?
It can be hard to find crime statistics for 2022. This is explained in an online article:
In January 2021, the FBI officially switched data collection methods from the Uniform Crime Reporting database to the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). This was done right before Joe Biden entered the White House. The NIBRS system requires agencies to submit more detailed data, which has caused the transition to the new system to be slow. In 2021, only 63% of law enforcement agencies submitted NIBRS data to the FBI.
There is still no complete data released for 2020-2022, making it difficult to gauge the true increase or decrease in overall crime in the past few years.
I was able to find statistics for carjacking in Louisville, which has been in the news over a period of time.
In July 2020, our top federal prosecutor for Kentucky’s Western District, Russell Coleman—soon to be our Kentucky Attorney General, we hope— held a news conference to announce a plan to deter carjacking in Louisville.
He was joined by men from the FBI, LMPD and Homeland Security. He stated that carjackers would face detention in federal prison as a means of getting the crisis under control. The newscaster noted that there were 34 carjackings in July 2020 compared with just four in July 2019.
A news story on WDRB-TV in June of 2022 stated that Louisville has experienced a 206% increase in carjacking over a two-year period.
So, the threat of federal prison was not an effective deterrent. Perhaps the events of 2020 that resulted in many police leaving the LMPD, and having hundreds fewer than we should have, make it easier to commit crimes.
A recent annual statistic for car theft in Louisville
Current statistics for auto theft would include carjacking. The Crime Mapping website has a filter for Motor Vehicle Theft, and for Louisville it shows 3,045 records for 9/15/2022 through 9/15/2023. This number seemed unreasonably high to me, so I checked it on different browsers and numerous times. Please check for yourself.
The image shows the incidents displayed on the Louisville Community Crime Map which is referenced on the LMPD website as the resource for crime statistics. There is a limit to how many records can be displayed, but the full number will pop up on the load.
The Insurify.com website page for Cities with the Most Stolen Cars, states that Louisville/Jefferson Co. has a population of 1,265,108 as of 2022. It seems they have used the Louisville Metro Statistical Area rather than the Jefferson Co. statistics. Using the MSA, Louisville is ahead of New Orleans/Metairie, with 506 vehicle thefts per 100K residents, compared with 395 per 100K in New Orleans, a CD city. (Metairie is a census-designated place in Jefferson Parish, La.) That would be 6401 car thefts in 2022 for the Louisville MSA, which supports the CrimeMap statistic. Insurify should know!
Bottom line, if Louisville negotiates a CD with the DOJ, you can bet your chances of being carjacked or having your car stolen will increase.
But—is it possible for Louisville to avoid a CD?
Please share this post and watch for the next post in the CD series.