In Lexington, A Decline In Gun Violence Raises Questions About Police Staffing

LEXINGTON, KY — In a city grappling with the intricacies of public safety and the role of law enforcement, a curious data point has emerged: Despite a police force that is “over 20% understaffed,” according to a September 17 Facebook post by Fraternal Order of Police Bluegrass Lodge 4 President Jeremy Russell, the incidence of gun violence has seen a notable decline this year. This raises an intriguing question: In an era of burgeoning technology, could Lexington reconsider the size of its authorized police force?

A Tale Told by the Numbers

Statistics for 2023, collected through September 30 by the Gun Violence Archive, tell a story of diminishing gun violence in Lexington compared to the same period in 2022. Incidents have dropped by 38.2%, fatalities by 22.6%, and injuries by a staggering 46.6%. These figures emerge even as the police union’s president insists it operates with a staffing level only 80% of its authorized strength of 633 officers.

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