INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A near north side representative called for a crackdown on crime along the 38th Street corridor, between Capitol Avenue and Meridian Street, weeks after a News 8 report highlighted a string of incidents at an area McDonald’s.
The restaurant, located at 37 West 38th Street, shares a facility with a BP gas station convenience store.
Drivers and restaurant regulars described shootings, stabbings, fights and an attack on the McDonald’s franchise owner near 38th and Illinois streets.
“Annually, there are hundreds of [police] runs to this area,” city-county council member John Barth said Sunday night in a Tweet. “Historically, many runs have been attributed to the BP/McDonald’s.”
In the six-part Tweet thread, Barth detailed plans to hold monthly neighborhood meetings, review data-driven crime research and combat addiction-related issues.
Conversations with community leaders and police officers led him to believe substance abuse and addiction were significant contributing factors to violent crime along 38th Street, he told News 8.
“I did a ride-along with the IMPD and spent eight hours driving all around this area,” Barth said Wednesday. “And what I hear, over and over, is an increasing concern about substance abuse and the need for enhanced treatment options.”
Some community members pointed to a disconnect between what they described as “city hall narratives” and “real neighborhood needs.”
“Talk to the people and really get their point of view,” said Diamond Taylor, a Chicago native who relocated to the near north side of Indianapolis. “Everybody in this area is not homeless. Everybody in this area is not on drugs. They are not alcoholics. They’re very good, hardworking people that live here [and] require assistance from the higher-ups; and they haven’t been getting it.”
Lavorah Brady, a longtime resident, said she believed increased business investments and youth programs would be more beneficial to the community than an anti-drug campaign.
“A lot of the people don’t have good examples to follow,” Brady told News 8. “If [city leaders] could do more in the community — maybe open up more community centers where the people have positive things to do — I think it would make a world of difference.”
There are a “variety of causes for the crime along [the 38th Street] corridor,” Barth acknowledged.
Drugs and violence were not contained within the corridor. Residential areas throughout his district had been impacted by rising crime rates, including the Crown Hill, Butler Tarkington and Meridian-Kessler neighborhoods, he said.
Members of the Butler Tarkington Neighborhood Association collaborated with gas station and restaurant franchise owners to implement new security measures following January’s assault.
“I am thankful that there are so many people in my district who want to focus on these issues and work together at the grass-roots level,” Barth Tweeted.