Lexington attorney, former councilman says city’s public safety is ‘in crisis’

Lexington attorney, former councilman says city’s public safety is ‘in crisis’
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 10:33 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Lexington attorney, and former councilman, is raising red flags after hearing claims that Lexington’s E-911 center is facing staffing challenges.

Monday, the FOP told WKYT the Lexington Police Department was down 115 officers. Chief Lawrence Weathers says the number is actually in the 80s because some new cadets are in training.

Scott Crosbie has been very outspoken recently on social media calling out the ongoing violence and what he says are a lack of resources for first responders to get to calls. He says if nothing changes to address the violence, and staffing shortages, he’s concerned what the ramifications could be for the city.

“There’s never been a public safety crisis in Lexington, as far as I know, in 30 years I’ve lived here like the one we are experiencing right now,” Crosbie said.

As of September 15, at least a dozen people have been injured in shootings, and three homicides have been reported.

“Lexington has always been known as a safe city,” said Crosbie. “What we’re seeing though, is the years of not addressing the problems. Those problems unchecked are only going to make this city that much more unsafe than it currently is.”

Crosbie, who ran for mayor in 2002, has been very vocal this week about what he says are shortages in Lexington’s E-911 center. He says he was shown an email from employees saying there would be significantly less staffing this weekend.

In a statement to WKYT, Mayor Linda Gorton’s office denied this claim saying, “Inaccurate information is being circulated about the City’s E-911 service. E-911 will be appropriately staffed over the weekend. Circulating misleading information about something as important as E-911 is irresponsible, and alarms the public unnecessarily.”

“The only thing I can say with respect to that is, I have the email communications that is titled, ‘Help’ at the top line, that says ‘we are desperate’ at the top line, and ‘we do not have call takers on Saturday and Sunday,’” said Crosbie. “I think it’s irresponsible for the city to put out information that is incorrect from what their own folks are telling them in an effort to make things look brighter and better than they currently are. We are in a crisis, and they need to acknowledge it and need to admit it, then address it.”

On Tuesday, Mayor Gorton held a news conference where she said her team is working hard to ensure public safety. She is asking people to be patient, saying reducing gun violence will take time.