Louisville hopes city-wide emergency curfew can help police get more illegal guns off the street

LOUISVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Tuesday night, Louisville issued a city-wide emergency curfew, effective immediately, as high rates of gun violence continue in the small town.

Mayor Will Hill says the Board of Aldermen has been discussing the possibility of a curfew for several months.

“Guns, fully loaded 30-round magazines,” says Cpt. Mike Perkins, lead investigator for the Louisville Police Department. “(In) how many places do a 15 and 16-year-old need to walk around with loaded guns on their person?”

Cpt. Perkins says they’ve seized guns from four juveniles during the first week of June alone. He says they’ve taken 68 illegal guns off the street so far in 2022.

“In this particular case, the data indicates that we need to get a grip on what’s happening in our midnight hours here in the city of Louisville,” Mayor Hill says.

But they have to do so with a police force that is only at about 85 percent capacity.

“Right now we’re at an all-time high demand for law enforcement,” the mayor says. “And the reality is, we’re probably at the lowest for all-time supply of law enforcement.”

Since November 2021, LPD says the city has had at least 10 drive-by shootings where gunfire hit a building with someone inside.

“A lot of the shootings have been people just spraying bullets, which have hit houses, people’s houses,” Cpt. Perkins says.

“We have heard gunfire from my house multiple times and we had an incident of an attempted petty theft in our vehicles once last year,” says Louisville native Drew Smith.

The curfew runs from 10 PM to 5 AM and applies to all citizens, except for first responders or those traveling to work or school.

“This just gives us another tool in our toolbox to be able to have probable cause to figure out why exactly someone is out in the high areas of crime being committed,” says LPD Chief Sean Holdiness.

The hope is that the curfew can be a short-term measure with long-term effects.

“It’s the same number of officers but it gives the effect that we’ve got more out on the street, especially during these problematic hours,” Chief Holdiness says.

The curfew will last until June 22. At that point, the mayor says that they will consult with law enforcement and review the crime statistics to determine whether or not to extend it.

“Give our community hopefully, a peace of mind,” Mayor Hill says. “Not to feel compromised, not to feel bullied, not to feel they’re being overrun, but to create a safer Louisville.”

Categories: Crime, Featured, Local News