What makes a Louisville neighborhood safe?
Community activist Anthony Smith hopes to answer that in his new Metro government role aimed at crime prevention.
The city’s director of Safe Neighborhoods was created as a result of the violence prevention task force, which submitted a report containing over six dozen recommendations in response to a brazen triple homicide last year.
Since that shooting spree onlookers have awaited to see if the work group’s plan will be more than just another study.
Smith is a Louisville native who acknowledges residents are impatient when it comes to previous promises to help improve dangerous areas.
“There’s always going to be this idea around are we doing enough as a city and are we moving fast enough,” he says. “And I think we’ve got to understand this is a long-term situation—we didn’t get here overnight so it’s not something you can just put some programs in place and it’s all gone.”
Smith is hoping to implement the work group’s findings over time and is developing an action plan, but critics in Metro Government and the community have already voice skepticism as homicides and shootings continue to pile up.
I discussed with Smith what the new role is meant to do, city strategies to combat violence and what safer neighborhoods ought to look like.