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IMPD unveils 2021 priorities, outlines strategic crime reduction plan

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Indianapolis is working right now on a plan to lower the number of homicides in Indianapolis.

Mayor Joe Hogsett and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Randal Taylor unveiled the detailed plan Tuesday.

Taylor said flat out Tuesday morning, “We need your help in solving these dangerous crimes being committed in Indianapolis.”

IMPD says overall, crime in Indianapolis is on a downward trend by almost 9% in 2020, compared to 2019. But there’s a spike of almost 40% in that same timeframe in criminal homicides. And from 2019 to 2020, nonfatal shootings rose by almost 41% in the city.

“We have not been immune to the troubling trend that has impacted cities across the United States. We are seeing more and more people turning to violence when confronted with conflict. We know our community is frustrated and disappointed with the level of violence we have seen in our city this year. Our officers are frustrated and disappointed as well,” Taylor explained Tuesday in a virtual media conference.

Hogsett and Taylor outlined IMPD’s 2021 reform priorities. They include accountability internally and to the community.

A violent crime reduction strategy includes examining the calls officers go on so they can spend more dedicated time on the ground talking with people in neighborhoods about issues. IMPD will also focus on behavioral health and wellness.

“We want to work with OPHS and our friends at the Marion County Sheirff’s Office to try to identify funding or money to put a clinician or multiple clinicians in the 911 center,” IMPD Assistant Chief Chris Bailey explained Tuesday.

Hogsett said he’s confident these changes will work in 2021.

“I am confident that our numbers by the end of this year will show marked success in the initiatives that have been outlined to you today,” Hogsett said.

IMPD is also working on hiring and recruiting more officers.

Gun Violence Reduction Strategy

The work is far from easy. In fact, it can be dangerous.

The city of Indianapolis is working on a gun violence reduction strategy. They’re called violence interrupters.

“This level of work becomes dangerous and requires credible messengers,” said Shonna Majors, the city’s director of Community Violence Reduction.

Through their work, they break violent cycles and combat retaliation violence.

“We have a lot of people with emotional responses to conflict. So we want to continue working with the families, the victims. When we learn of retaliation, we move quickly to try to quell that retaliation from spreading further violence,” Majors said.

Majors said they’ll start a new street outreach program, and the money for it is already secured.

“We’ve been able to partner with the Public Safety Foundation and they will provide salary and accountability for the street level interruptions,” Majors said.

Majors’ staff has also started weekly reviews with IMPD to look at what shootings happened that week, to see where they can help prevent more violence or help victims families with services.

Over the next couple weeks, each of IMPD’s service districts will host a virtual community meeting so people can hear from IMPD commanders on what their specific crime reduction plans are for each police district. IMPD says it will be a time to hear community concerns and tailor responses to those community needs.

Here is more detailed information, provided by the city of Indianapolis:

2021 Priorities for IMPD:

  • In 2021, reforms to IMPD operations will center around:
    • Accountability
    • Improving data collection and dissemination
    • Leveraging technology
    • Refining training
    • Continuing to evolve use of force standards
    • An inclusive and proactive violent crime reduction strategy
    • Hiring/recruiting/retraining a high-quality, diverse workforce
    • Enhancing community engagement
    • A continued focus on behavioral health and wellness
  • Aligning resources with priorities: IMPD will reorganize some divisions and bureaus in 2021 with the goal to be laser-focused on violence reduction, community safety and engagement.
  • Regional collaboration continues: IMPD will continue to build on the successes of the Indianapolis Violence Reduction Partnership (IVRP) and Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC) in targeting the small number of people, places, and behaviors that are responsible for most of the violence in the metro area. In 2020, CGIC removed 288 firearms and 302 violent individuals from the community.
  • Moving forward as a community: To focus resources on proactive violence prevention efforts, the Indianapolis community must re-imagine what police response looks like.  IMPD will begin a robust engagement process to gather feedback on the community’s expectations for changing responses to low-level, non-violent issues. Details to be released soon.

OPHS’ collaborative gun violence reduction strategy:

  • Interruption: implementation of violence interrupters/street outreach component in 2021. This partnership with the Indy Public Safety Foundation will provide a salary and accountability framework for street-level interruptions of retaliatory and other potential violence.
  • Intervention: improving collaboration by beginning monthly meetings with peacemakers and grantees in 2021.
  • Prevention: building on 2020 successes.
    • Violence reduction team served more than 10,000 families through food and hygiene product distributions organized with community partners.
    • Safe Summer: 462 youth were served by the safe and productive activities on offer through Safe Summer Friday nights.

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