Crime Watch 8

Crime stats alarm Indianapolis mayor, police chief

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The statistics are alarming: Homicides are up and shootings are up in Indianapolis.

Mayor Joe Hogsett said he wants to see a decrease in gun violence, and he hopes it’s significant, not just incremental.

The mayor and police chief talked Thursday about recent trends.

City leaders went through a very detailed report on Thursday. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, a Democrat, said without question, public safety is the No. 1 priority.

Hogsett admits there’s a crime problem in the city. He said it’s impacting cities across the nation. He said the pandemic dramatically sped up a lot of contributing factors to gun violence.

“Economic insecurity. Heightened stress and, quite frankly, a reduction in services and programming. That combination of circumstances has significantly increased homicides and nonfatal shootings in Marion County,” Hogsett said.

Hogsett also said, “We aspire to far more than reducing the number of homicides by mere degrees. We want nothing less than to reverse this trend in violence.”

Through June 30 of this year, overall crime, burglary, robbery and aggravated assaults are down. But criminal homicides, vehicle theft and nondeadly shootings are up. At least 159 homicides have happened in Indy so far this year.

“The rise of nonfatal shootings and homicides has increased at an alarming rate. As Mayor Hogsett alluded to, we have seen people commit crimes out of despair. We have seen the crimes span from mental health issues to domestic violence, social media disagreements and just simple disputes. Despite the uptick, our mission remains the same. We will continue to hold the line as we make every effort to maintain peace within Indianapolis,” IMPD Chief Randal Taylor explained Thursday.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said they’ve implemented new strategies to help curb violence. They’ve created new teams and changed hours so officers are out more from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. in areas where violent crimes happen.

“We’re also requiring our beat officers every single day to get out of their car and engage our community in some sort of beat policing. Foot patrols, bike patrols and also spending time in our hot-spot areas doing directed patrols, something,” IMPD Assistant Chief Chris Bailey said.

IMPD said each district has violence reduction teams and violent crimes task forces. Comprised of officers, detectives and analysts, they work in teams daily and nightly on community concerns and go to places where violent crimes happen. Since April, they’ve seized 374 guns and made 1,004 arrests.

There are also programs in place to help fight crime at the root issues, like community safety meetings and food assistance — plus strategies including prevention, transformation in the community.

“The intervention piece. We need to focus on what’s going on right now. How we reduce the number of fatal shootings and nonfatal shootings and crime overall. That’s by interrupting the conflict as it’s happening or as it’s about to happen,” said Lauren Rodriguez, director of the Office of Public Health and Safety.

Hogsett will present his budget proposal at 7 p.m. Monday at the Indianapolis City-County Council meeting. He says the proposal is largely focused on strategies to reduce violence in Indianapolis.

Rick Snyder, president of the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 86, released this statement:

STATEMENT FROM INDY FOP President Rick Snyder:

“Our Policing Professionals reviewed the Mayor’s summary of his administration’s latest efforts to combat violence in Indianapolis. 
Unfortunately, there was still No New Plan clearly laid out. Instead, the focus was on the same tired talking points.
However, the Mayor did note his support for a Review/Analysis of the Overall Outcomes, Court practices and Prosecutorial decisions within our Marion County Criminal Justice System
Our Indy FOP calls upon the Mayor (as the Chief Executive of our Community) to Immediately Convene such a Review and Analysis.
Furthermore, we are disillusioned that as our City has experienced nearly 700 people shot, 145 stabbed with 161 killed so far this year: the Mayor said “Indianapolis is an extraordinarily safe city.”
To say this on the heels of the outcry of victims, families and business owners…and after our Police Officers even publicly declared Indy a ‘City in Crisis’ is dismaying to say the least. 
We must deal in the realm of reality before we can make improvements and move forward. 
In the meantime, we will continue to speak out for victims of criminal violence, their families, business owners and our officers who faithfully continue to stand the line.”

Rick Snyder, president of the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 86

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