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Breaking Down Crime Numbers for Kentucky Oaks and Derby


Tens of thousands of residents and visitors descend on Churchill Downs this week for the annual running of the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby.

Law enforcement will also be out in full force. About 1,100 officers will be stationed at Churchill Downs during race day, said Major Kelly Jones, commander of special operations for Louisville Metro Police.

Hundreds others will be part of the Derby City Crime Detail, monitoring social "hot spots" for post-race indulgence, including Fourth Street Live, Bardstown Road and west Broadway, Jones said.

Since 2010, Louisville Metro police have issued citations to or arrested just more than 3,300 people on Oaks and Derby day for violations ranging from public intoxication, assault and loitering, according to data provided by the city.

This isn't to say that an obscene amount of arrests are being made at the track, said LMPD spokesman Dwight Mitchell.

In fact, just about 130 arrests were made or citations were issued in the 700 block of Central Avenue, the listed address for Churchill Downs, according to the data. That adds up to about 4 percent of all violations on Oaks and Derby Day since 2010.

For comparison, more than 470 arrests and citations came from Broadway, which stretches from Baxter Avenue west to Shawnee Park, according to the city's data. And 140 arrests or citations stemmed from the Fourth Street corridor.

Violators came from across the country, according to the city's data.

Using the city's data just for 2014, we mapped where people that were arrested at the 2014 Oaks and Derby came from. (Note: We did not include citations or arrests for warrants.)

Here's a look at that state-by-state map.

[googlemaps https://www.google.com/fusiontables/embedviz?q=select+col3+from+1DSrbFigsNu4z4Qjn-BsTjZPuDAcdg4aNmGdQtp6D&viz=MAP&h=false&lat=36.20605429368095&lng=-87.59966312500006&t=1&z=5&l=col3&y=3&tmplt=3&hml=KML&w=800&h=500]

Kentuckians were arrested at the highest rate. Northern neighbors from Ohio and Indiana also had rates significantly higher than other states.

In all, people from 37 states were arrested on Oaks or Derby day in 2014, as well as Great Britain and Canada.

One issue that law enforcement will be mindful of is driving while intoxicated. The Transit Authority of River City will offer free bus rides to and from the track throughout Derby Eve, said TARC spokesman Jon Reiter.

To find routes and schedules for the free bus rides, you can text FREE RIDES to 90464 or call 1-800-373-3743, according to information provided by TARC.

The bus will also be operating on Derby day, but the rides will not be free, he said.

Here is a map of where the bus and taxi depots will be set up for Oaks and Derby at Churchill Downs.

Jones said it would be great "if everybody got on a bus or some type of taxi."


Jacob Ryan joined LPM in 2014. Ryan is originally from Eddyville, Kentucky. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.