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EXCLUSIVE: Mayor, police chief address Lexington’s deadliest month in 14 years

The mayor of Lexington and the police chief are addressing the city’s deadliest month we’ve seen in the last 14 years.
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 4:56 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The mayor of Lexington and the police chief are addressing the city’s deadliest month we’ve seen in the last 14 years.

Both Mayor Linda Gorton and Chief Lawrence Weathers, say they are heartbroken every time they hear about another homicide in the city of Lexington. The mayor says there are tools to crack down on gun violence.

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In an exclusive sit-down Wednesday, Mayor Gorton told us the focus has to be on violence intervention at younger ages, she says it is a multi-pronged issue and is calling on the community to be part of the solution.

Chief Weathers says increasing patrols isn’t really the answer, adding officers can’t be in every place, and the people involved would just wait until officers were out of the area.

During our talk, we asked again if the city would look at adopting the group violence intervention strategy many have called on. Mayor Gorton says it would not work for Lexington.

“We have spent a lot of time, my team, the chief’s team, investigating how it worked, what it does, and who the focus is. We have talked to a lot of cities that use GVI. There is quite a bit of information out there that shows us, that number one, it’s not effective in many cities,” Mayor Gorton said.

The chief says it is a community effort.

“I know we say this all the time, that people need to step up. They do need to step up. We’ve got our area of expertise where we investigate it. We need people to come give us information that will provide us some glimpses into somebody’s life that we don’t have any knowledge about, but they have that inside personal knowledge,” Chief Weather said. “We need people to help us with that,”

Despite the city already being on pace to break the 2021 record for the number of homicides in Lexington, both Mayor Gorton and Chief Weathers say Lexington is a safe city.

Chief Weathers says these shootings are not random, and there is some personal connection. We asked if there’s any connection to the recent homicides or concerns of retaliation. Weathers said they are investigating every angle.

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