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Ky. AG-elect Russell Coleman and Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg discuss future collaborations

Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg (left) and Attorney General-elect Russell Coleman (right)
Kevin Trager
/
Louisville Metro Government
Attorney General-elect Russell Coleman met with Mayor Craig Greenberg at Metro Hall on Wednesday.

Kentucky’s Attorney General-elect Russell Coleman met with Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg Wednesday to discuss how they can reduce violent crime and invest in local law enforcement.

Coleman, who takes office Jan. 1, said he wants to work with Greenberg and Jefferson County Commonwealth's Attorney Gerina Whethers to reach these goals.

Coleman said he wants to improve the group violence intervention program in Louisville.

Through GVI, people who committed violent crimes would be offered opportunities to pursue education, seek substance abuse treatment, or search for employment as an alternative to jail time if they choose.

GVI must “be done with fidelity” to further reduce violent crime in the region, Coleman said. He said fidelity can create deterrence and foster a stronger relationship between the Department of Corrections and community outreach programs.

Greenberg echoed that this approach could change lives.

“We have a lot of resources that we have available. We can support them to find a new path in life,” he said. “Our administration is doing everything we can … to work to give young adults and youth more opportunities to succeed, so they don't decide to pursue a path of violent crime.”

The call for collaboration comes after Greenberg's 2024 budget proposal in August to fund the creation of a separate department for the existing GVI program.

People who do not choose GVI will be subjected to criminal sentencing, Greenberg said.

“They will spend a significant amount of time in prison for shooting at other people and we can ensure that that message is clear [that] you will be held accountable for committing violent crimes in the city,” he said.

Kentucky House Republicans proposed the “Safer Kentucky Act” in September. The legislation would expand which crimes could lead to the death penalty, including killing a police officer, deadly carjacking and fentanyl trafficking that results in a deadly overdose.

Coleman said he met with GOP lawmakers about the bill.

“I could not praise those legislators [more],” he said. “These issues are challenging, but they're willing to look in the face of what is our greatest challenge here in Jefferson County, and I’m looking forward to [continuing] to work with them to move some of those measures forward.”

Greenberg said he wants to implement more Louisville Metro Police recruitment and training programs to keep more law enforcement in the community.

Under his 2024 budget proposal, Louisville Metro Government would invest $1 million in digital recruiting efforts.

LMPD needs more access to new technology like protecting body armor, Coleman said.

After he takes office in January, he said he also hopes to improve the relationship between LMPD and Kentucky State Police.

“I look forward to seeing more KSP presence here, that's for certain,” he said.

Greenberg said he has been open to collaborating with KSP since he was elected to office.

Giselle is LPM's breaking news reporter. Email Giselle at grhoden@lpm.org.