Downtown Lexington improves security in the wake of continued violence

Several violent incidents have been reported near or inside the Victorian Square Parking Garage, including a deadly shooting a week ago.
Published: Mar. 11, 2022 at 11:11 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Friday night is the first night of a partnership with the Lexington Parking Authority and the sheriff’s office as two deputies will begin patrolling the Victorian Square Parking Garage.

Several violent incidents have been reported near or inside the garage, including a deadly shooting a week ago.

Businesses and bars downtown, especially those who are close to the parking garage, say they are thankful for what they are calling a proactive approach to make sure the area is safe for people coming downtown.

On weekend nights, downtown is usually filled with people going to restaurants and bars, but those who own these businesses say the parking garage on West Short Street has become a trouble spot.

“I’ve heard from friends who come downtown to drink, people who go to other bars and even our bar, they feel like they can’t be out after a certain hour because of how downtown has gotten,” said Trevion McFarland, the operations manager at Creaux.

Several shootings, and other acts of violence have been a huge concern. Just last weekend, three men were charged in connection to the shooting death of Michael Yocum. It’s led LexPark to work with the sheriff’s office to add security.

“There is a lot of fun, a lot of excitement that happens in downtown Lexington. And I don’t want it to be overshadowed by the bad things, so I think it’s very important and very good that the police department is taking a proactive approach,” McFarland said.

Fayette County Sheriff Kathy Witt says her deputies didn’t hesitate to volunteer to patrol the garage in their off time.

“I have for a very long time been very proud of them. They are men and women of strong character and courage. Anytime there is a need, they have always stepped up,” Sheriff Witt said.

They’re stepping up so businesses like Creaux and their customers feel safe while having fun.

“We are committed to making Lexington the safest city in the commonwealth, and in America. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, but we’re up for the challenge,” Witt said.

Those two deputies will be set up inside the garage starting at midnight. They will be there until 4:00 a.m. They’ll be in there Saturday night as well, and will repeat every Friday and Saturday night for the time being.

Sheriff Witt said next week she will be doing a listening tour downtown to visit with business owners and hear what their concerns are.

She said she’ll take what she hears to downtown management and LexPark to continue making improvements.

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