Ballard: City needs comprehensive approach to fight crime

Mayor Greg Ballard in his monthly appearance on Eyewitness News at Noon (August 2014 WTHR photo)

Mayor Greg Ballard said the city must take a comprehensive approach to fighting and preventing crime.

Thanks to a newly-approved expansion, IMPD will have the most officers they have ever had by the end of 2018. Ballard said he is glad to see more officers get hired and that he and other leaders have been pushing for that for years, but he doesn't think more cops will fix the city's crime problem.

"We have to look at it from why it starts," Ballard told Scott Swan during his monthly interview on Eyewitness News at Noon Tuesday. "We have to look at what we're doing Pre-K, and maybe even below. We have to look at what we're doing with offenders and reintegrating them into society. Police is just one piece of that."

Every year, 1,800 students drop out or get expelled from school and end up just roaming the streets, according to Ballard - and that's a problem that can't be fixed by putting more police on the streets.

"We've been doing the wrong thing for 40 or 50 years and it's going to take us 20-25 years to get out of this at the least."

One of the changes he said the community at large can make is getting involved and helping police. He cited WTHR's Blue Pledge as great steps anyone can take - if you see suspicious activity, call 911. If you see non-emergency or drug activity, call (317) 262-TIPS.

"[IMPD has] great teams of great people doing great things right now, but we still need the community to tell them, to help them out, say, 'This is about to happen.' 262-TIPS is a great number to be calling; you can text, you can do all those things....We've gotten a lot of arrests made because of those anonymous tips."

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