Block party raises funds for Broad Ripple safety measures

Police are installing cameras in Broad Ripple to keep an eye on crime.
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Due to recent robberies and shootings in Broad Ripple, police and community members are taking steps to take back their neighborhood.

The Broad Ripple Village Association held a fundraiser Monday night at the Broad Ripple Tavern to raise money for additional security cameras and better lighting.

New safety precautions went into effect over the weekend, and the community is hoping the fundraiser will them take even more precautions.

Last weekend, a shooting in Broad Ripple sent seven people to the hospital with injuries.

A cry for better safety measures led to immediate action by law enforcement. They first installed a mobile camera at the intersection of College Avenue and Broad Ripple Avenue. Second, they decided to close Broad Ripple Avenue between College Avenue and Guilford from midnight to 4 a.m.

Those were changes apparent to this weekend's party-goers.

"I walked out at about midnight," said Andile Ndlovu, a Broad Ripple resident. "As we walked across the strip, police were on each side, it was blocked off. I liked it a lot better because you were able to see everyone walking around and you were able to analyze what's going on and it's not cluttered on the strip."

In spite of the beefed up security this weekend, there was a robbery near a convenience store in the 6300 block of North College Ave. A man reported being beaten and robbed of his wallet by four suspects. The men got away with $16 and the victim had to get stitches.

Those are not the images residents want to see of their village.

"We definitely want to keep this place safe," said Anthony Olivero.

Those organizing Monday's fundraiser hope dishing out food and fun will help the village serve up more security.

"You know why we're here. Five bucks a pop," said a manager at the restaurant.

The fundraiser is the second held by the village association, scheduled before last week's violence.

"I think some of the money should go toward lighting and again, going with the manpower, that's great. I feel more safe," said Larry Don.

"It's a first step," said the manager.

It's a way to fund safety upgrades that supplement what police are already doing here.

"Raising funds for quickly implementable safety steps, such as additional police presence, common area maintenance and also additional security cameras," said the village association's spokesperson Brooke Klejnot.

The village is not sure yet if that means private security or off-duty IMPD officers, but coordinating with the police will be critical.

"I think it helps," said Homeland Security Chief Gary Coons.

Coons was talking about the new city mobile Public Safety cams that debuted this weekend. The village says any new cameras it buys must tie in with the IMPD-monitored cameras and police and hired security have to be talking with one another.

"If they throw a fight out of the bar and onto the street, is that really a solution?" Coons asked.

"The security cameras that they installed recently just gives assurance that they are looking out for us," said Broad Ripple booster Kenny Pascascio.

So why not install more cameras?

"We can all get behind that, behind public safety," said Dan Peterson.

Click here if you'd like to donate to the Broad Ripple Village Association's fundraising efforts.