As homicides reached an all-time high last year, killings cost Louisville 173 lives, an incalculable toll on the city.
The report, released by Louisville’s Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods on Thursday, found that each shooting homicide cost the city at least $900,000, and every non-fatal shooting that resulted in injury cost the city more than $500,000.
Those costs were the result of crime scene response, hospital services, investigation, court process, incarceration for perpetrators, victim support and lost tax revenue.
The report called the $900,000 figure for the cost of shooting homicides a “conservative estimate.” With an average of 116 homicides over the past five years, the report found Louisville could save $62.8 million a year by reducing gun violence by 20%.
“Reducing violence is not an overnight fix; it’s a national problem that costs taxpayers millions every year in our city,” said Monique Williams, director of the city’s Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods. “With the recent reinvestment by Louisville Metro in the Office, and based on the data in this report, we can now put even more focus on infrastructure needs and initiatives that we know work.”
That includes viewing violence as a public health issue and “deploying strategies for prevention and intervention that allow us to address violence from its root to its fruit,” she added.
Mayor Greg Fischer described the data in the report as “eye-opening.”
“The data from this report is eye-opening in terms of understanding the full impact of violence in our city,” he said. “In addition to the horrific physical and emotional costs of violence, this report outlines the tremendous financial costs to taxpayers. But most importantly, we are losing sons and daughters, friends, and neighbors to violence, and we must work our whole-of-government, whole-of-city approach to public safety to create a safer and more equitable Louisville.”
With 157 homicides as of October 17, according to LMPD, the city is on track to surpass last year’s record-breaking homicide number. As of October 17 there had been nearly 500 non-fatal shootings as well.
Read the report here: https://louisvilleky.gov/office-safe-healthy-neighborhoods/document/louisville-cov
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