Lt. Governor Stephen B.Pence's Communication Office
Lt. Governor Steve Pence Commits Grant Funding to Help Reduce Criminal Homicide Rates in Urban Areas

Press Release Date:  Thursday, June 02, 2005  
Contact Information:  Ryan Watts
(502) 564-2611 Ext. 387

Urban Violence Grants to support law enforcement initiatives to combat violence

(FRANKFORT, KY) – Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence, Secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, announced today the Cabinet awarded the first ever Urban Violence Grants to Louisville and Lexington. The Cabinet is creating a new initiative with these awards to help Kentucky’s largest urban areas fight growing murder rates.

“I am committed to making Kentucky a safer place to raise families. The funding available for this new grant program will help our police officers and prosecutors target violent crimes and lower the rate of homicides,” continued Lieutenant Governor Pence. “The money may also be used to pay for investigative time spent on homicide investigations to further assure the quality of cases for prosecution.”

The Louisville Metro Police Department and the Lexington Fayette Urban County Division of Police will each receive $112,500 to be combined with a local match of $37,500 for a total grant amount of $150,000 each.

In 2004, Kentucky had its highest murder total in seven years – 199 murders. Louisville’s murder rate spiked to 70 last year the highest total in eight years.

"This grant is very timely,” said Chief Robert White. “It will enhance our ability to target violent crime."

The Lexington Division of Police will focus its resources on solving cold cases. In the last ten years, Lexington has solved 84% of its cases. Over the last thirty years their clearance rate is 90%. Leaving 29 cases over the last 10 years and 55 cases over the last year unsolved.

“This grant is going to substantially increase our division’s ability to solve cold violent crime cases,” said Chief Anthany Beatty. “I appreciate Lieutenant Governor Pence’s and Governor Fletcher’s leadership on this initiative.”

“Louisville and Lexington have the highest murder rates in the state. In fact, Louisville had 70 homicides last year, the most in nearly a decade. We must aggressively focus on the prevention of these violent crimes, which drastically reduce the quality of life for families who live in these areas,” said Lieutenant Governor Pence. “The funding available through this new grant initiative will give police officers in these urban areas more resources to control and reduce violence.”

The grant money comes from old Byrne grants that were returned by other jurisdictions in past years. If the money is not used it may be required to be returned to the federal government.

# # #