As Indy gets ready to hit another record murder rate for the second year in a row, the Hogsett administration is promising more police and more community engagement as possible answers to the rising tide of crime and violence.
The city has counted 148 murders, just one shy of last year’s record.
Mayor Joe Hogsett says he takes full responsibility and promised to create more police beats and make more money available for community groups to address the problem.
The Mayor’s office spelled out the following initiatives…
Crackdown on Illegal Possession of Guns by Violent Criminals
IMPD will disrupt the spread of violence by targeting the cycle of drugs and illegally-possessed firearms in neighborhoods. This will include a focus on:
- Working with local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute violent offenders who have illegally armed themselves.
- Coordinating with United States Attorney Josh Minkler’s office to assign multiple Assistant United States Attorneys to each IMPD district, developing federal cases against those involved in gun violence and their associates.
- Establishing a Crime Gun Intelligence Center to connect shell casings and firearms in real-time to better inform local law enforcement intelligence.
- Encouraging communication between street-level community activists and neighborhood leaders to identify individuals who are encouraging violent behavior – and those seeking to escape the cycle of violence.
This initiative invests in neighborhood-based programs currently combatting the spread of violence. Community liaisons will work with IMPD to engage violent felons and their known associates with positive community engagement. This will include:
- The hiring of a Director of Community Violence Reduction to coordinate and manage the community intervention component between law enforcement partners, community groups, and neighborhoods.
- The hiring of four Indy Peacemakers – activists from local neighborhoods with diverse backgrounds that give them credibility at the street level – to provide day-to-day operational assistance to neighborhoods and community groups engaged in violence prevention.
- A partnership with IMPD District Councils to focus on individuals at risk of committing a violent crime, or be a victim of one, and their known associates for targeted intervention by community members.
Expanded Access to Social Services
By expanding and focusing resources in targeted areas, wrap-around services for violence prevention can be directed at those most in need. New initiatives include:
- Partnering with local hospitals to expand Ezkenazi Hospital’s Prescription for Hope model, meeting victims of violent crimes when they enter the emergency room and connecting them with social services.
- Investing approximately $300,000 a year for the next three years into our neighborhoods to support evidence-based violence prevention and reduction strategies and services.
- Providing capacity building training and technical assistance to neighborhood organizations and IMPD’s District Council to develop and implement evidence-based violence reduction strategies.