Sunday August 18, 2019
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Living Room Program Opens To Public

Credit: Louisville Metro Police

One year after its start as a pilot program limited to two Louisville Metro Police divisions, the Living Room program is now open to the public.

Mayor Greg Fischer joined partners from Centerstone, Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, LMPD, Metro Corrections and Metro Council today for a special Open House and press conference to celebrate the Living Room’s one-year anniversary and newly expanded services.

The Living Room is a safe, calming space where adults in crisis can be connected with needed resources to address mental health and substance use disorder, as opposed to costly and often unnecessary stays in jail, emergency rooms or inpatient hospitalization.

The low-barrier facility, located at 708 Magazine Street, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Since its soft opening on December 10, 2017, the Living Room has served more than 1,100 guests and provided more than 8,000 hours of care to people in crisis in our community.

“Adding the Living Room to the services we have available in Louisville has been a great achievement over the past year,” said Mayor Fischer. “Helping to connect people in crisis to support and services is just one more way that Louisville is proving itself to be a compassionate city.”

The Living Room first opened as a pilot project with two Louisville Metro Police Divisions, who tested the feasibility of bringing individuals in crisis to the center instead of jail or the hospital. By March 2018, all eight LMPD divisions had begun utilizing the program.

The Living Room has been able to expand services even more in recent months thanks to renewed funding from Louisville Metro Council. Updates include:

  • Renovation of the space to be more user-friendly and secure;
  • Addition of medical services at the site during certain hours of the day; and
  • Addition of transportation to help get clients get to and from the Living Room and other services.

Last month, the Living Room completely opened its doors to the public. Guests no longer require a referral from police, hospitals or other sources. Now, they simply need to ring the doorbell to get assistance.

“We at Centerstone couldn’t be prouder of the work that has gone into establishing this valuable community resource,” said Abby Drane, President & CEO, Centerstone Kentucky. “Since opening to the public, the Living Room as seen a 25 percent increase in guest check-ins – illustrating the need this community has for low-barrier crisis diversion services.”

Centerstone staff expect to see continued growth as they launch a public awareness initiative to get the word out about available services.

Students from the University of Louisville Criminal Justice program will continue to be involved in studying the effectiveness of the program, to help determine how many resources are being saved by diverting people away from jails and hospitals.

Credit: Louisville Metro Police

President David James (D-6) and officers of the LMPD’s Fourth Division are planning a special celebration of the season when they host the Parkhill Holiday Party at the Parkhill Community Center on Thursday, December 6th.

“I look forward to continuing this community tradition when we give needy children throughout the district a Merry Christmas with holiday fun for the family,” says James. “It will be a wonderful time for anyone who  lives in the Parkhill area.”

The Parkhill Holiday Party will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Parkhill Community Center, 1703 South Thirteenth Street.

Parents are encouraged to bring their children ages 1-15 to the event.

There will be music, food and fun for all! Santa Claus will also be on hand to hear Christmas wishes and parents and families can take pictures of their child with the Jolly Old Elf. There will be a toys and bicycle give-a-way!

This year several groups and individuals have joined Councilman James to help spread holiday cheer for children and families in the District. Those sponsors include Kosair Charities, Al Schneider Inc., Play, 7NT Engineering, Henderson’s and Ronaldo Designer Jewelry.

“So I want to encourage everyone in the Parkhill area to come out and join us for some fun as we bring in the holiday season,” says James.

For more information about the Parkhill Holiday Party, contact Councilman James’ office at 574-1106.

Photo: Louisville Metro Council

Councilwoman Madonna Flood (D-24) is encouraging everyone in the community to take advantage of a special drug toss, medication disposal event coming up this Saturday, December 8th.

“As a community, we continue to deal with many cases of accidental overdoses and sometimes those are caused by medications no longer needed that someone comes across in the home,” says Flood. “This event is a safe way to dispose of prescription drugs that are no longer needed.”

The drug toss event is set for the Central Government Center, 7201 Outer Loop from 9:00am to 1:00pm. It is hosted by the officers of the Louisville Metro Police 7th Division.

It is a safe, fast way to dispose unused medications. These events are designed to prevent unintentional and accidental poisoning and potential fatal overdoses. Just drive up and hand the medication to an officer, then be on your way.

Proper disposal by the LMPD helps protect the environment by keeping medications reside from leaking into waterways and threatening wildlife and drinking water.

“So before you got out to do your holiday shopping this Saturday, grab any outdated or no longer used medications and stop by the Central Government Center,” says Flood. “Your actions could keep a loved one safe.”

For more information about the event, call Councilwoman Flood’s office at 574-1124.

Credit: Louisville Metro Police

It’s a Christmas tradition that brings smiles to the children of Portland and the Louisville Metro Police 1st Division service area every year.

On Saturday, December 8th the LMPD 1st Division Police Auxiliary will host children and their families at their 43rd Annual Christmas Party.

“This is a special time of year for children in our area and every year the 1st Division Police Auxiliary works to make sure the children of this area have a special Christmas,” says Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton (D-5). “I am proud to be a sponsor of this event and I thank the Auxiliary for its dedication to the children of our area.”

The event is set for the Molly Leonard Community Center at 640 North 27th Street from 11:00am to 3:00pm.

Hamilton is joined by Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith (D-4) and President David James (D-6) as sponsors of the event.

“Over the years, the Auxiliary has brought seasonal joy to thousands of children who would not have holiday party otherwise,” said Sexton Smith (D-4). “Their dedication to the community is a shining example of the reason for the season.”

“Once again the Auxiliary has gone above and beyond the call of helping those in need in our community,” says James. “Like the men and women who protect us in the 1st Division, they have shown us how they care for those in who would not otherwise have a special holiday.”

The 43rd Annual Christmas Party is for children aged ten and under. Last year, the 1st Division Police Auxiliary was able to help over 300 children have a special holiday season. Every Child will have a chance to visit Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus and will receive a toy, fruit, candy, toboggan and gloves.

For more information about the event, call 502-574-7167.

Photo: Louisville Metro Council

On Tuesday, November 13th a special ceremony will pay tribute to Officer Bertha Par Whedbee, who in 1922 became the first African American female to join the Louisville Police Department.

“Officer Whedbee served the citizens of Louisville with dignity and honor,” says Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton (D-5). “Until now, she has rested in an unmarked grave in the Louisville Cemetery and on Tuesday she will receive recognition that is long overdue.”

Councilwoman Hamilton is encouraging everyone to attend a special ceremony paying tribute to Officer Whedbee beginning at 10:00am. The ceremony will feature the Louisville Metro Police Honor Guard and the Louisville Police Pipe and Drums.

Officer Whedbee was married to Dr. Ellis Whedbee who was one of the founders of the old Red Cross Hospital. Since 1960, she and her husband have rested in an unmarked grave. Active and retired officers of the Louisville Police Community have joined other officers and citizens to erect a monument to their service.

“We owe a special thanks to all men and women who walk our streets to keep us safe. Officer Whedbee, like all the officers who have followed her, is someone to be honored for their duty and service to our community. She was a trailblazer leading the way for others,” says Hamilton.

The Louisville Cemetery is located at 1339 Poplar Level road.

For more information about the tribute to Officer Bertha Par Whedbee, contact Chuck Cooper at 502-744-1704. Cooper is a former 2nd Police Division, now retired, spearheaded the memorial tribute to the late Officer Whedbee.

Credit: Louisville Metro Police

Little ghosts and goblins will soon be out and about and they can get an early start on trick or treating when Family Fright Night gets underway on Sunday, October 28th.

Council members Barbara Sexton Smith (D-4) and Cheri Bryant Hamilton (D-5) will join with officers of the Louisville Metro Police’s First Division for a fun night in a special Haunted House.

“This is a great event for the entire family and it’s free,” says Sexton Smith. “This is a great way to have safe Halloween fun and get to know the officers who help keep us safe year round.”

The First Division’s Family Fright Night will feature a haunted house, trick or treating, live music and is designed for children 13 and younger.

“We want to make sure everyone has a good time and stays safe during this particular holiday,” says Hamilton. “I want to encourage everyone to come out and join us.”

The event will be held at the LMPD First Division Headquarters at 416, North 29th Street from 4:00pm until 7:00pm.

Photo: Louisville Metro Council

A review of theft from automobiles, stolen vehicles and burglaries in the Highlands for the third quarter of 2018 shows that 38.5% of the crimes committed (47 of 122) were easy targets because the doors were left unlocked, keys were left inside or otherwise made available to thieves, according to Councilman Brandon Coan (D-8). This is a slight increase from the second quarter of 2018, where 34.1% of crimes committed (44 of 129) were the result of unlocked homes, businesses or vehicles.

Councilman Coan strongly urges citizens to lock their vehicles and buildings and take their valuables out of their cars as part of a new campaign called #KeepLouisvilleLocked.

“The failure to lock your doors and take your valuables out of your car not only inflates the crime rate, it gives your neighborhood a reputation as an easy target which, in turn, attracts more crime,” Coan said.  “Please do your part and park smart.”

Coan is partnering with the Louisville Metro Police Fifth Division, Louisville Parks and Recreation and others to reduce crime of opportunity in District 8.  He tracks “unlocked” crimes in his bi-weekly newsletter and intends to report out the statistics to local media outlets and community stakeholders on a quarterly basis.

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For more information about #KeepLouisvilleLocked, contact Councilman Coan’s office at 574-1108.