City unveils plan to reduce summer violence
After reaching a near 30-year high for violent crime, Indianapolis police revealed a new plan to tackle the growing problem.
It's summertime and the living isn't always easy in Indianapolis. IMPD Chief Rick Hite knows it.
"We can do a better job in the sense we can keep that body from dropping in the first place. I believe we're just that good," Hite said Friday morning.
Intending to prevent the typical summer surge in murders and other violent crimes, IMPD has an aggressive plan. It targets five trouble-plagued areas.
One of them includes the neighborhood Antoine Williams calls home. At night, this is a busy place.
"A lot of kids be out there, doing about what they want to sometimes," Williams said.
IMPD promises more officers going after high-risk offenders, the places they hang out as well as gangs, drugs and guns.
"There's been a sense of ownership by some members of our community who are involved in violent crime who think they can operate with impunity. We are here to say that no longer exists," Hite said.
The summer crime fighting plan relies heavily on partnerships IMPD has forged with churches and other faith-based organizations.
The Ten Point Coalition is one of them. Its ministers and church members frequently walk neighborhoods looking to stop trouble before it starts.
"In some of these neighborhoods now, you don't see the kind of activity that you used to see, because of the heavy presence of police now in those areas," said Rev. Charles Harrison, Ten Point Coalition.
Crime prevention efforts range from free meals and special activities for kids to additional probation and parole checks on adults in a city trying to minimize fear and put more fun in summer.