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Indy’s homicide rate decreases 15%; Chief Taylor eyes more improvement in 2023

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Chief Randal Taylor of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department told I-Team 8 he’s proud of the 15% decrease in the city’s homicide rate, but the number of 220 so far is still way too high.

I-Team 8 sat down for a Q&A with Taylor to talk about the homicide rate.

News 8 reporter Kody Fisher: What are the specific reasons that you see for the cause of the decrease?

Chief Taylor: There’s a number of variables in there. I think one of the things that encourages me from a money standpoint is that the Mayor and the Council has seen fit to give money to some of these grassroots organizations that are really trying to help with the violence numbers and I think the fact that more money is going to them is probably catapulted us to this point, but will then continue and obviously the work of our officers.

Fisher: Is the fix to reducing crime simply on the shoulders of law enforcement?

Chief Taylor: I’ve never thought the solution was completely with law enforcement. I’ve never thought the solution was putting everybody in jail. I’ve often said I’d much rather people decide not to commit a crime than us having to send them off somewhere to prison, or whatever in order to try and correct that issue. That’s why I was encouraged about the Mayor and the city county council giving money to some grass roots organizations that are trying to help with that. If we can keep people from committing those crimes in the first place we’re all in a better spot.

Fisher: Moving into 2023 what are your top three priorities?

Chief Taylor: Obviously, continue to work on the murder rates and homicide rates to continue to drop those numbers is important. Making sure that the community know the men and women, but the sworn and the professional staff, are committed to them. For me personally, just the recruiting aspect of things. Getting the numbers up to where they need to be.

Fisher: What makes a qualified candidate?

Chief Taylor: The basics are there. 21, no felonies, valid drivers license. Those things are across the board for everybody. What we look for are people that are committed to the city that want to see the city do well. I need them to be committed to being fair to all the public, regardless of race and those kind of things, but I think they’re out there. I know they exist. It’s just a matter of finding them, whether they’re here in Indianapolis, or elsewhere.

IMPD says it’s roughly 200 officers short of being fully staffed.