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Louisville Metro Police Community Conversation Postponed

Jacob Ryan/WFPL News

The city is pushing back this month's community conversation with Louisville Metro Police because of the extreme cold.

The event will be held on to Feb. 26. It was originally scheduled for Thursday.

It will be the second meeting between police and residents since the conversation series began last month.

Ben Johnson, assistant director of recreation for Louisville Metro, said the conversations are meant to be "an open, honest dialogue."

"So the officers can see the community and the community can see the officers in two totally different lights, they never get to just relax and interact," he said.

The series will continue throughout the year on the third Thursday of each month. Event organizers are specifically targeting younger residents under the age of 25, Johnson said.

People under 29 accounted for 45 percent of all homicides in 2014 in Louisville Metro Police’s jurisdiction, according to data provided by LMPD.  At a forum in December, Chief Steve Conrad said residents 25 and younger accounted for nearly half of all gunshot victims in 2014.

More than 220 residents between the age of 18 and 25 have been arrested and remain in Metro Correctionssince the last community conversation was held at Baxter Community Center in the Russell neighborhood.

About 30 residents attended that meeting, but just a few were under 25-years-old.

Josh Gaston, who is 14 and lives in the Beecher Terrace housing complex, was one of the few young people who attended.

"I think it helps the community. I think it helps the young kids to get on the right path and do something with themselves instead of do drugs and all of that," he said.

LMPD Officer Jack Miller was one of the four officers that participated in the January conversation.

He said one of the most difficult aspects of interacting with young people often stems from the parents.

"If the parents continue to teach their dislikes the kids have no choice," he said. "That's why I can't be mad at the kid."

The rescheduled community conversation will begin at 6 p.m. at the Beechmont Community Center, 205 West Wellington Ave.

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.