LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — From his side of the desk, the city of Lexington looks pretty good to Lawrence Weathers.
“It’s a big city, but it has that kind of hometown feel. That’s why I like living here and raising children here. You feel safe,” the Chief of Police said, while discussing the city on the day after Christmas.
The formal media gathering was held one day after the city experienced another homicide. It’s the 28th of the year, which tied last year’s record-setting mark. Obviously that’s not a record any police chief wants to be part of, but it’s important to put these numbers into context.
“I think everyone realizes those homicides are based on circumstances they might be involved in,” he said of both the shooters and their victims. “None of them are random,” he continued.
Weathers eluded to Lexington’s population of more than 300,000 residents, when discussing the total number of shooting fatalities in 2019.
“When you put that number (28) into the broad scope of things, that number is really, very low. Your chances of becoming a victim of a homicide, if you’re not involved in circumstances that lead you down that road, are very low,” he said.
Weathers said support from City Hall is vital to the success of his department, and support has been there since he was appointed Chief, by former Mayor Jim Gray in 2018.
“All of our mayors, especially Mayor Gorton, are very approachable, very understanding. And they’ve offered reasonable and good advice,” Weathers said of his former and current bosses.
Weathers also said the department’s relationship with the various federal law enforcement agencies is strong. And he said the cold cases that remain unsolved are never far from anyone’s mind.
“We have about 16 cases that are currently open, but with those, we probably have some indication as to who a suspect might be, but with anything we need to corroborate that.” Weathers said often times corroboration involves waiting for evidence, or hoping for a witness to come forward before his officers and detectives can proceed with a case.
The overall crime rate across Lexington, actually saw a 5% drop from a year ago. But In the end, the discussion veered back to that record-tying number of 28.
“My job is to protect everybody. I don’t care what you’re involved in,” Weathers said.