INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — After 24 hours of police running from one violent crime scene to another, authorities on Monday presented what they hope will help address gun violence in Indianapolis.
Six people died at five shootings over the weekend, starting around 9:30 p.m. Saturday and continuing until the same time Sunday, with most of that violence centered in the east side.
At every crime scene, the evidence is collected by the Marion County Forensic Services Agency, and shell casings are some of the most important pieces of evidence.
All shell casings from all crime scenes are collected and entered into a database that’s part of the Crime Gun Intelligence Center introduced by IMPD Chief Bryan Roach and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett on Monday. Their hope is they’ll be able to connect the gun data with the person that pulled the trigger.
“We talked about the violence this past weekend. In the past we would not be able to apply this tool in the manner we will able it and are already applying it to the violence that occured this weekend,” said Roach.
Hogsett said Indianapolis experienced a few weeks without a homicide this winter, but he also said the homicide rate has been slowly increasing in the city for years.
“Over the last three or four years, unfortunately, our city has continued to experience an incremental increase in the number of homicides. Three years ago, it was approxamately 4%. Last year, it was 2.2%,” said Hogsett.
With much of the violence concentrated in certain parts of the city, police are looking at ways to work with other departments.
“Everybody that lives in this community has a part in it. Our judges have a part, our prosecutor has a part. Everyone plays a role in reducing crime in the city. It is not just the police department,” said IMPD Deputy Chief Christopher Bailey.
IMPD and the mayor’s office said the Crime Gun Intelligence Center has helped with arrests and convictions, but the program is only a few years along. Funding for the program comes from federal, state and local sources.