When Louisville’s top leaders came together to talk about a student’s death, the police chief said its time for Jefferson County Public Schools to get its own police department.Louisville Metro Police Chief Erika Shields was responding to a drive-by shooting at a bus stop early Wednesday morning. One Eastern High School student died, and two others were injured.More on that story here: 1 JCPS student killed, 2 injured in drive-by shooting at west Louisville bus stopIt’s hardly the first instance of youth violence in what’s been a record year for homicides in Louisville. While this shooting has been directly tied to gang violence, Shields pointed out that it has been a huge part of the uptick in youth violence this year.She said having a dedicated department at JCPS to reach kids inside school could prevent violence outside of them.”Without having dedicated school resource officers trained in identifying gang members, conflict… we’re lacking critical intelligence. There simply has to be the acknowledgment… if we don’t wanna be here again … we can’t sit here with our thumbs up our ass, do nothing different and think we won’t be up at this podium,” Shields said. She said she will lean in on the board of education to make the department happen.”The students and the teachers deserve that,” she said, noting the gang situation is difficult.Dr. Marty Pollio said the district was on course to get more officers in schools prior to the pandemic. In 2019, the district had about 28 SROs, but the contract was not renewed due to staffing and budget cuts. The plan laid out then was to create the district’s own security team and get SROs back in every middle and high school.He said it’s hard to tell whether it would have made an impact on what happened or not, but it’s something they will keep discussing.There are now just nine unarmed special law enforcement officers for the district’s 55 schools. Just last month, a Jefferson County Board of Education member wanted to revive discussions on school safety.Shields mentioned again on Wednesday that a big concern still is how kids are getting guns, and she urged those who own them legally to be responsible for locking them up.She said many are getting guns out of cars and then turned her attention back to Eastern High School. She said that over the weekend, four students who were brought into custody for car-jackings went to the school.”Something is afoot at Eastern High School,” she said.Pollio said he doesn’t believe that school ever had an SRO.WLKY will have more on this story Wednesday night. Check back for updates.

When Louisville’s top leaders came together to talk about a student’s death, the police chief said its time for Jefferson County Public Schools to get its own police department.

Louisville Metro Police Chief Erika Shields was responding to a drive-by shooting at a bus stop early Wednesday morning. One Eastern High School student died, and two others were injured.

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More on that story here: 1 JCPS student killed, 2 injured in drive-by shooting at west Louisville bus stop

It’s hardly the first instance of youth violence in what’s been a record year for homicides in Louisville. While this shooting has been directly tied to gang violence, Shields pointed out that it has been a huge part of the uptick in youth violence this year.

She said having a dedicated department at JCPS to reach kids inside school could prevent violence outside of them.

“Without having dedicated school resource officers trained in identifying gang members, conflict… we’re lacking critical intelligence. There simply has to be the acknowledgment… if we don’t wanna be here again … we can’t sit here with our thumbs up our ass, do nothing different and think we won’t be up at this podium,” Shields said.

She said she will lean in on the board of education to make the department happen.

“The students and the teachers deserve that,” she said, noting the gang situation is difficult.

Dr. Marty Pollio said the district was on course to get more officers in schools prior to the pandemic. In 2019, the district had about 28 SROs, but the contract was not renewed due to staffing and budget cuts.

The plan laid out then was to create the district’s own security team and get SROs back in every middle and high school.

He said it’s hard to tell whether it would have made an impact on what happened or not, but it’s something they will keep discussing.

There are now just nine unarmed special law enforcement officers for the district’s 55 schools.

Just last month, a Jefferson County Board of Education member wanted to revive discussions on school safety.

Shields mentioned again on Wednesday that a big concern still is how kids are getting guns, and she urged those who own them legally to be responsible for locking them up.

She said many are getting guns out of cars and then turned her attention back to Eastern High School.

She said that over the weekend, four students who were brought into custody for car-jackings went to the school.

“Something is afoot at Eastern High School,” she said.

Pollio said he doesn’t believe that school ever had an SRO.

WLKY will have more on this story Wednesday night. Check back for updates.

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