INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The city of Indianapolis set a record with more than 250 criminal homicides in 2020.
Randal Taylor, chief of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police said it was a rough way to start the year and hopes the department’s plans to decrease gun violence will stop 2021 from being another record breaking year. Taylor said he is disappointed, but not surprised about the New Years day gun violence.
“We’ve already had our first murder of this year, which is not necessarily uncommon for New Years,” said Taylor. “I mean you’d like to go a little further before you get your first one, but people get together and add in alcohol, tempers and stuff like that, unfortunately things happen.”
This is Taylor’s second year as chief and he said he has big plans to decrease the violence including helping the community with mental health issues, giving officers yearly mental health screenings, and implementing a use of force policy and general orders board. Both will have civilian oversight.
“As for the violence, we plan on implementing some different tactics,” said Taylor. “Those crimes that are relatively minor, you may end up calling into a district or taking care of that report online so that we can free up officers to be out in the street being a little more visible in the area to hopefully deter some of that violence that occurs and if not deter it at least be able to respond to it quicker.”
Taylor said the department saw more emotionally driven shootings and homicides. He believes stress from the pandemic and systemic issues may have been responsible for the increase in deadly crime. He said ultimately they will have to rely on the community to do its part.
“These people last year didn’t have much of any criminal records and for whatever reason got upset and felt the only way to solve that problem was to pull that trigger,” said Taylor. “At some point, we have to come together as a community with all the different entities in the community like the public, the police and every other department under the city.”