Crime reduction data produced by the Kentucky State Police, and celebrated by Gov. Andy Beshear at a news conference, exaggerated the state’s reduction in homicides from 2021 to 2022. According to new data from Louisville Metro Police, the state's reported crime reduction was based on an undercount of 100 homicides in Jefferson County, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports. Louisville Metro reported 64 homicides in the state's largest county in 2022 instead of the 164 previously reported. Kentucky State Police reported that homicides in the state had dropped from 647 last year to 431 this year, but with the undercount of homicides in Jefferson County, the total jumps to 531. Leaving no other county homicide report figures unchanged beyond Jefferson County’s total, the state would still register a significant decrease of 17.9% instead of the reported 33.4% drop.
Captain Paul Blanton of the Kentucky State Police (KSP) said the number provided to them by LMPD was the one that was sent to them before the deadline for submission of the report. Blanton said KSP trusts local law enforcement to submit their statistics in a timely manner and that KSP has verified the numbers submitted by LMPD three times. In response, LMPD officials said they are aware of "possible discrepancies" between their numbers and those provided by KSP, particularly those related to homicides. “We understand that there have been questions raised about the report and the numbers for LMPD, mainly regarding homicides, and that there may be possible discrepancies. Three different LMPD units reviewed and double-checked our numbers, and we believe the homicide data that we provided to the Commonwealth is accurate. We are in consultation with Kentucky State Police and the Kentucky Justice Cabinet to figure out why there is a discrepancy between our numbers,” an LMPD spokesperson wrote. The spokesperson said they were also consulting with the state to see if any other data discrepancies exist in the KSP report.