Dealing With Crime as a New Louisville Homeowner

When most people move in to a new neighborhood they would like to believe it is relatively safe.You have attended an open house on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, seen the house the following week, gone to inspections, and driven past the house a few times, maybe even in the evening. All the while nothing dangerous, noisy, or worrisome got in the way of you buying your dream home. You move in, meet the charming neighbors on either side and you think life in this new house is perfect… that is until you find out about the apartment building behind your garage. As it turns out, not only was there an apparent murder in the building two years ago, but several gun shots have been fired off in the building’s parking lot in just the past couple of weeks alone. You immediately begin to question your decision to ignore that apartment building out back, Surely something like this couldn’t happen in a neighborhood in East Louisville!  

Unfortunately many Louisvillians are unaware of the reality of crime in our city. Our local news stations only cover what is told to them by local law enforcement or is written on the Associated Press Wire. The majority of the crime that happens in Louisville, even with police involvement, goes unreported. The less crime the officers can keep reported in their district, the higher they get paid, it’s as simple as that. That’s why for homeowners it’s very important to work closely and be persistent with your police officers, document everything crime related that happens in your neighborhood, and look out for your neighbors.

Many new homeowners will become unpleasantly surprised by their new neighbors. More often than not there will be one bad apple on the block, or a cluster of run down homes or apartment buildings. There are endless neighborhood related problems, including street maintenance, littering, and noise control, but crime is one of the most menacing and challenging to control. Having just moved in to my home in the Highlands a few months ago, I am new to our block watch. There is an apartment building in the alley behind my house that has had the neighborhood very nervous for quite some time. My block is having a neighborhood crime meeting tonight with our councilman, Tom Owen, and several big hitters in the community to discuss the apartment building. As a mom to two young children, I am anxious to attend the meeting to learn my rights as a homeowner and what I can do, legally, to protect my children from the tenants. It has been a learning process, but so far I know that unfortunately there is not much I can do. In the Limerick neighborhood of Old Louisville, off-duty police officers were hired to maintain a safe neighborhood. I am going to recommend this model at tonight’s meeting, because of Limerick’s success. I am hopeful that tonight’s meeting will open up a discussion that will lead to some changes. I will let you know how it goes.  

Whether it is my neighborhood working on our back alley crime, our another neighborhood trying to plan a Summer picnic, I think the one thing every neighborhood needs is a block watch. I was watching an interview the other day with a convicted felon who was in jail for burglary. He said the one thing you can do to protect your house from burglars is to watch out for your neighbors. Be good to your neighbors, and look out for your neighbors, and your entire community will benefit. 

Ilyse's Louisville

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