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IMPD cracks down on domestic violence

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — At the beginning of 2023, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department conducted Operation Domestic Disruption to arrest people labeled as the most violent offenders with active warrants.

“We are in a crisis with domestic violence,” said Danyette Smith, director of Indy Champions For Domestic Violence Prevention.

That’s Smith’s perspective when looking at the increased number of domestic violence calls IMPD has taken during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Distressers added within 2020 have created a lot of issues,” said IMPD Commander Matthew Thomas.

Domestic violence calls jumped by a thousand in 2020 to 5,700. They peaked at roughly 6,000 in 2021 and came down by only 2% in 2022.

IMPD’s Thomas said those numbers don’t tell the full story. “It’s difficult to get a full grasp of the impact of domestic violence within our community because we know that some of the incidents do go unreported.”

That’s one reason for Operation Domestic Disruption. Over five days, IMPD targeted 20 people it labeled as the most dangerous domestic violence offenders with active warrants. Officers arrested 16 of them.

The demographics are not in one area, but Thomas said that “we do see that a majority and a lot of the domestic violence here in Marion County are those poverty-stricken areas.”

The issue hits home for Smith. A bracelet on her wrist is a constant reminder of how she herself survived domestic violence. It’s why she helps others get help. “This literally is just looking at me in a mirror from when I was going through domestic violence,” Smith said. “Every phone call is a tear from somebody. Every phone call, there can be a barrier keeping them there.”

Smith told I-Team 8 that Indy Champions is grateful for the IMPD crackdown and the solidified partnership with police. It allows the group to continue to raise awareness. They’re now working with policy makers to combat key areas of need. “Those emergency shelter placements is something huge that our city needs added. There’s never enough beds.”

Anyone living with domestic violence can call 317-210-0866 to be connected to resources that can help.

Help is available for victims of domestic violence. Below is a list of suggested resources on the Domestic Violence Network website: