Kentucky : Safety by City
- Bowling Green
- Cave City
- Cumberland Falls
- Harlan Tri-Cities
- La Grange
- St. Matthews
Jeffersontown, Kentucky is a name so big and long that even locals have shortened it to “J-Town.”
This city is part of the Louisville metro area and sits on the eastern side, with the big city in one direction and rural attractions in the other.
Don’t confuse Jeffersontown with Jeffersonville, and that’s a message as much for me as it is for you.
There are two Jeffersonville near Jeffersontown:
- Jeffersonville, Indiana: 20 minutes from J’Town, just across the Ohio River in The Hoosier State. Also referred to as “Jeff.”
- Jeffersonville, Kentucky: About 90 minutes from J’Town, east of Lexington, Kentucky. I cannot seem to find a nickname for that one.
Have you ever typed a word so many times that it looks misspelled?
I’m having that with Jeffersontown.
Back to the J’Town low down – this city was where the popular pizza chain Papa John’s was started in 1984.
In 2020, the company moved to Atlanta, but the impact on J’Town was incredible, bringing commerce and business to an otherwise sleepy suburb.
The city was rocked in 2018 when a racially charged shooting led to the deaths of two people in a grocery store.
The suspect is serving life behind bars, and this tragedy helped create stricter hate crime laws and punishments.
J’Town is home to 27,000 people, but on the third weekend in September, the city holds a hefty 200,000+ people for the Gaslight Festival.
This eight-day extravaganza has everything from a hot air balloon glow to a parade, a craft festival, and much more.
The name comes from the Gaslight District, which has dozens of replica gas lanterns lighting the way.
Warnings & Dangers in Jeffersontown
OVERALL RISK: LOW
J'Town has a low overall risk, with one category of crime that trends high. Otherwise, crime is low - even violent crime is one-third of the state and national average.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
TARC is the Louisville public bus system and does extend to Jeffersontown, with two routes covering the northern and southern ends of the city. Taxis and rideshares are going to be easy to call. While having a car is always preferable to explore the wider region, you can get around here with a low risk using the other services.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
Two purses were snatched in 2020, which is still a low risk but also a great reminder to keep your eye on your bag. The real risk of snatching is inside your car. A whopping 40% of all thefts were due to car break-ins.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
You can't be in Kentucky without having a medium risk. While the weather can be downright blissful, when storms brew, they can be quite dangerous. You need to be aware of safety for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flooding, winter storms, and extreme temperatures in winter and summer.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
While the risk here is still low, coming in at 20% lower than the national average, having 17 robberies in a city this small is high based on extensive research I've done across the country. The good news is that just 12% of those robberies happened in public.
TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
Louisville itself is a medium risk, and that includes the metro area. On top of that, Fort Knox is less than an hour away. With a higher risk, comes higher security. You don't need to spend your days worrying about an attack, but Kentucky does have a terrorism hotline if you notice anything suspicious. That number is 1-866-EYE-ON-KY (1-866-393-6659).
SCAMS RISK: LOW
Just the typical scams are reported here, mostly centered around fake phone calls to residential numbers. There's a low risk that a tourist would be targeted.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Women can also enjoy a low risk here. There were three sexual assaults in 2020, coming in at a fraction of the national average. There's a lot to explore here, but you should check out our article on Louisville because that's a whole different story.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The 2021 Annual Water Quality Report shows passing grades across the board on all water tests. There's a low risk and a lot of enhancement being done to improve the water quality.
Safest Places to Visit in Jeffersontown
There isn’t a tourism website just for Jeffersontown, but gotolouisville.com does cover a few options here.
J’Town is part of East Louisville, which includes St. Matthews, Middletown, and Norton Commons.
Blackacre is one of the top reasons people visit J’Town.
As the first nature preserve in Kentucky, there’s a lot more to do than a traditional wilderness area.
Sure, you can walk the waterfall trail, enjoy sweeping views of the Dragonfly Pond, and search for a White Oak tree that is among the oldest in the Commonwealth.
The Presley Tyler House is also on this property, with a journey back in time to a Kentucky homestead with a working farm and tour guides that stay in character as if they were back from the past.
Malibu Jack’s indoor theme park has just about everything you’d find at a theme park, including roller coasters.
Arcade games, race tracks, and carnival rides provide great entertainment throughout the year, as it’s all located indoors.
Jax’s is the restaurant there, and I’m eyeing the menu right now and craving some funnel cake fries.
The Jeffersontown Historical Museum is a great place to learn about the beginning of the land, from pre-historic days throughout homesteading and into the modern day.
Take special note to learn about the time the city burned down twice in one decade.
Veteran’s Memorial Park is the first park in the state that was dedicated just to the service of military members.
A veteran’s walk takes you through stories of soldiers and has some artifacts on display.
This is also a popular park for sports and leisure.
This is also located in the Gaslight District, where a drive at night will feel like a trip down memory lane.
Places to Avoid in Jeffersontown
There isn’t a bad part of Jeffersontown and you can drive freely throughout this area.
When you look at the Louisville metro area crime maps, east of I-65 is the lowest crime region in the whole area.
When you look at Google Maps, there are parts of J’Town outlined that include a Louisville address.
While you don’t need to worry about the intricacies of postal codes, you should take a visual look at the map, not just the list of turns, to make sure you’re staying in the J’Town area.
Louisville is a fairly large area and you don’t want to end up driving across town if you don’t have to.
For example, there’s a Target technically in J’Town, but it has a Louisville address.
There are at least half a dozen other Target locations with a Louisville address.
I would also like to point out I’ve made it this far without incorrectly writing Jeffersonville, which is a small victory.
(I promise, I didn’t have to go back and fix anything either!)
Safety Tips for Traveling to Jeffersontown
- The Jeffersontown Police Department issued a monthly Crime Prevention Newsletter under the Crime Prevention section of its website. This is a great resource for safety information during the month of your trip.
- You can also send in information about a crime through a form on the website, or call (502) 267-0503. You will leave a message at that number. It’s monitored a few times throughout the day.
- The Louisville Emergency Notification System is the best way to keep up with any weather, crime, or civil emergencies. All you have to do is text “LENSAlert” to 67283 and messages will start appearing. Just enter STOP when you leave and you won’t get more notifications.
- The city does have a NOTIFY ME section on it’s website, but it’s not for emergency situations. It is a great way to keep in touch with public safety agencies and community calendars.
- If you want to fish while you’re in the Louisville area or anywhere in Kentucky, you’ll need a fishing license from the state’s Department of Fish & Wildlife. You should review all the options as some fish require a certain permit on top of the license. Your home license isn’t valid here.
- When visiting Blackacre, there are parts of the woods where you’ll see Turkey Tail Mushrooms growing on trees. These mushrooms are not poisonous, but they are not really tasty either. You should never remove the mushrooms or any plants/flowers in the wilderness here. Please abide by the “Leave No Trace” mantra.
- What you will find in the woods are ticks and mosquitoes. After a hike outdoors, always do an immediate full body scan when you are in a private place. Ticks can embed themselves in some pretty delicate skin areas, so look closely. If you do have a tick embedded, remove it with tweezers as soon as possible by pulling it out from the head. Disinfect the skin and use a bandaid if needed.
- People in Louisville are particular about how you say “Louisville.” More accurately, they are pretty clear about how you DO NOT say “Louisville.” It is never “lew-iss-ville.” It is either A. “Lewee-ville” (if you want to sound like a tourist or “Yankee”, or B. “Lou-uh-vulle” if you want to sound like a local. The only caveat is that you have to say “Lou-uh-vulle” VERY fast so it ends up sounding like “Louh-vulle.” Just don’t say LouiSSSville, okay?
- One of the benefits of being in a relatively safe town is that sense of security, but it also means the police have more time to crack down on things like people not wearing seatbelts, drunk driving, or not following the distracted driving laws.
- The city and police department’s Facebook pages are more updated than their websites, so follow them. The handles are @cityofjefferstontownky and @JeffersontownPolice.
So... How Safe Is Jeffersontown Really?
There are many positive points to the crime data from Jeffersontown.
The violent crime rate is three times lower than the state and national averages.
That’s a one in 739 risks of being a victim.
Robbery rates are lower than the national average and on top of that, there’s a really low risk a stranger would be a victim.
Theft is the category that is 60% higher than the national average.
40% of those thefts are related to car break-ins, which is probably related to this being a more affluent part of the metro area.
56% of the thefts were shoplifting.
That accounts for the bulk of the thefts in the entire city.
If that’s not enough to tell you to lock your cars with the windows rolled up and personal items removed, I don’t know what will.
Another warning from Jeffersontown Police in April of 2022 included a warning about thefts at gas pumps.
This happens when a person pumps gas and faces away from the car.
A thief, lying in wait, sneaks up on the other side of the car, opens the door, and snatches whatever they can in just seconds.
It is recommended to lock your car doors while pumping gas if you are alone.
How Does Jeffersontown Compare?
|New York City
|Niagara Falls (Canada)
|Buenos Aires (Argentina)
You will need a U.S. Travel or Work Visa to visit from outside the country. This process can take up to several months, so start planning early. You'll also need an in-person interview before getting approved for a Visa. You don't need your visa to travel between cities or states once you've made it through Customs at the airport.
The U.S. Dollar (USD) is the only currency accepted here. Given the high theft rate here, it's smart to avoid carrying cash and use a credit card or mobile payment app with good fraud protection.
You should be prepared for just about anything here. Overall, a pair of jeans with a t-shirt or sweatshirt will work throughout much of the year. In winter, bring a coat, but you don't need one designed for extreme temperatures. Summers will be warm, and you'll definitely feel the humidity day and night. Bug spray is among the most important things to bring with you from spring through fall.
You'll be just 15 minutes away from Louisville International Airport. That's about the best option you can get, since it's a large airport and close by.
Investing in travel insurance should be considered another trip cost because it offers so much protection for all the things that could go wrong.
Jeffersontown Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Kentucky - Safety by City