This case study is part of the Reimagining Public Safety Impact Updates Resource, which highlights successful programs in cities, towns and villages across the country. View the Reimagining Public Safety Initiative to learn more about NLC’s work in creating safe, equitable communities for all. This is one of four municipalities illustrating Group Violence Intervention, which engages individuals on an interpersonal level to impede continued group violence – with the goal of reducing gun violence and improving community safety.

Louisville, KY (pop. 633,045): Louisville Group Violence Intervention Program 

Louisville’s GVI program, launched in 2020, aims to reduce violent crime in the city through direct contact with individuals and group members at the highest risk of violence. Louisville’s GVI program aims to reduce homicide and gun violence, minimize harm to communities by replacing enforcement with deterrence, and foster stronger relationships between law enforcement and the people they serve.

Call-in meetings are a core tenet of Louisville’s GVI strategy thus far, where city leaders, the police chiefs, county prosecutors, and families of victims speak face-to-face – i.e. “call in” – with individuals on probation or parole to spread antiviolence messages. In 2023, Louisville held three call-in meetings collectively, with two of these being juvenile call ins. Louisville’s GVI program employs a custom notification strategy as well: a small group (including a community member, a member of law enforcement, and a member from support services) knocks on the doors of individuals at the highest risk of violence and informs them that the Office of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods will soon come to offer social services.

Custom notifications have been a successful strategy for Louisville’s GVI: the program conducted 267 custom notifications between 2021 and 2022, with only 20 individuals revictimized or reoffended after the visit.

In 2023 alone, the city conducted over 190 custom notifications with a 78 percent successful contact rate. Only about 10 percent of these GVI clients revictimized or reoffended after the custom notification occurred.

In mid-2023, Louisville restructured their GVI strategy to appoint a new GVI program director, expand the staffing team and create a separate city department under the Deputy Mayor of Emergency Services. Out of Louisville’s $1.1 billion total budget for 2023-2024, more than $500,000 was dedicated to the GVI department. 

At the end of 2022, more than two years after GVI was launched, Louisville reported decreases in citywide homicides, and Louisville’s nonfatal shootings and total shooting victims each dropped more than 25 percent compared to 2020. Leadership reported that GVI has helped prevent more than 100 offenders from committing additional crimes.

Key performance metrics collected include:

  • Number of call-ins and custom notifications
  • Share of revictimizations and/or re-offenses
  • Reduction in homicides, nonfatal shootings, and total shooting victims

Acknowledgements for contributions and review from Shane Simmons, Project Manager, Louisville Metro Government.

View the Reimagining Public Safety Impact Update

Learn more about what different cities have done to support public safety, including qualitative and quantitative measures highlighting the impact of community responder models, group violence interventions, hospital-based violence interventions and community violence interventions.