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IMPD addresses crime and changes they’re making in 2018

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — IMPD presented its first Stewardship Report Tuesday. It was an opportunity to address with the public a violent 2017 and what they’re doing to make it better in 2018. The presentation lasted more than an hour and a half. During that time, leaders including IMPD Chief Bryan Roach and Mayor Joe Hogsett spoke.

First, leaders focused on last year’s achievements. They spoke about taking down the alleged “Grundy Gang.” Richard Grundy, who police referred to as the murderous gang leader, now faces federal charges. Officials spoke about bringing pharmacy robberies down nearly 40 percent in 2017.

They also talked about police reform.

“Back in July we had an unfortunate incident with the shooting, officer-involved shooting of Aaron Bailey,” said Chief Roach.

Police said Bailey led them on a chase prior to being killed. He was unarmed. Two IMPD officers were not charged in his death, but Roach recommended their termination. Since then, IMPD has reformed its Use of Force policy, added required bias training and created a diversity office.

It didn’t take long for the conversation to shift to violence. Last year Indianapolis saw a record number of murders with 154. But, Roach said, the downward spiral begin before last year, back in 2012.

“We as a police department need to think about what happened. Is there anything that we did?” Chief Roach asked.

One possible explanation leaders gave; ending beat patrolling in exchange for zone patrolling. Currently, IMPD officers man larger areas called zones. There are 39 zones, compared to the 103 beats it previously covered. The department is now testing 19 beats, and is finding it impactful.

“You become very sterile. You become a machine. You become an assembly line of, I’m quick to run my runs. I’m quick to handle my run. But, I don’t develop as much of a problem solver attitude in beat mentality when we own an area for our responsiblity,” said Deputy Chief Chad Knecht.

The meeting concluded with moving forward. IMPD plans to do that in 2018 by bringing beats back. Beginning March 1, 80 beats will be covered by officers. More officers will be added to the streets and leaders will have monthly Stewardship Reports.

“The ultimate (goal) is for the community to have all the information that we have as a police department about the violence. Because we’ve certainly proven that we can’t do it by ourselves,” said Roach.

Chief Roach is asking the public to get involved; the more you know about your neighborhood the better you can help police in keeping it safe. IMPD plans on having monthly Stewardship Report presentations. Next month will focus on gun initiatives.

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