INDIANAPOLIS (WISH ) — Indianapolis on Monday afternoon sat at 171 homicides for 2020, just one shy of the total homicide count in 2019.
The city is projected to see some 220 homicides by the end of 2020, and city leaders and community activists seem to have a disconnect in what’s needed to change the rising number.
“We are not being heard because I know the mayor’s office has their own strategy but you have got to get buy-in from the neighborhoods if it is going to work,” said the Rev. Charles Harrison with the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition.
Harrison says he and other community leaders and activists met with the mayor recently to tell him what is needed in their neighborhoods. Based on the city’s actions, the leaders and activities believe their suggestions fell on deaf ears.
“It is getting worse. It is not getting better; it is getting worse,” Harrison said.
Harrison says he is calling for an immediate meeting with the mayor, the prosecutor, Indianapolis police, the FBI and other city leaders to not only put a plan in place but to dedicate resources to make a change.
Josh Minkler, the U.S. district attorney for the Indianapolis federal court, says Indianapolis is also seeing an increase in drug trafficking and illegal weapons.
But, a mentality developed in the streets is continuing to push the issue. Harrison said, “They are not afraid to have a shoot-out anywhere now because they are not afraid of getting caught and they know people are not going to talk.”
Despite the projection of a dangerous future, Tanita Proctor and other people who work downtown and frequent it still feel safe but would like to see some changes. “More foot patrol, just like neighborhood policing. You need downtown foot patrol policing not just police riding around in their cars.”
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has changed its policing style in 2020, and a new recruit class will put more officers on the streets.
Officer William Young, an IMPD spokesman, said, “We have expanded our beat policing so that officers have a better relationship with our citizens getting out of the car and speak with folks.”
“Unfortunately, Indianapolis has not been immune from national trends of rising shootings and homicides. Nonetheless, we remain as committed to promoting peace and preventing violence in our community. In addition to budgeting for an IMPD staffing level that allows for county-wide community-based beat policing, Mayor Hogsett has worked with the City-County Council to invest $4 million towards grassroots violence and crime prevention efforts in 2020 alone, including $300,000 towards neighborhood organizations engaged in evidence-based violence prevention programming and wraparound services. In addition, we have directed COVID-relief dollars towards direct intervention and support services, dealing with mental health and domestic violence prevention.”A spokesperson for Mayor Joe Hogsett