Frankfort Police increase downtown presence to curb criminal activity

Posted at 7:00 PM, Jan 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-18 19:22:21-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Ismael Valladares has owned Mi Fiesta on St. Clair Street in Frankfort for the last five years. In that time, he says he's seen crime increase. Running a family-friendly business, he wants to see something done.

He says, "This made me think, like...that is not good for business. We definitely need the police to do something, the city to do something."

The Frankfort Police Department says they've gotten calls about activity at the St. Clair Mall. The police chief says the Capitol city has worked hard to make its downtown an entertainment destination. This week, the department is starting a "Directed Patrol Plan" for Friday and Saturday nights.

"What we have seen is some of the later hours, once it gets out there, we've seen an increase in activity such as, you know, disturbances, fight calls, and things like that,” says Chief Bowman.

He says that just last week there was a shooting on St. Clair Street that left two people injured. Chief Bowman says, "We wanted to ensure we took steps to be proactive in preventing any further events to take place and maybe try to reduce some of the small things we've seen."

He says he's always wanted to increase downtown patrols — but was held back by staffing shortages. Now, he says it's not something they can wait on. Patrols will also work to uphold local and state alcohol ordinances.

Bowman says, "You know, the biggest part of our job is community and ensuring the safety of our community so people can enjoy going out. Friday and Saturday nights are some of the big nights to go out and meet friends for drinks and all we're really doing is ensuring that people are going out and being responsible."

Valladares says he's happy to hear about the patrols, but he believes that's just the start of a long road to addressing the crime issue.

He says, "It's not gonna be easy to fix, it's gonna take a little time which, I mean, I think everybody knows that part. But I guess as a owner, we want to see the police work on it."

Frankfort's police chief says he hopes that the patrols will make the entertainment district safer and be a chance for the community to engage with law enforcement.