IMPD looks at increased patrols to match downtown growth

IMPD is looking at increased patrols as downtown continues to gain residents.
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There is a surge of people moving downtown and Metro police are working to catch up with the rapid growth.

Huge construction projects are drawing new residents downtown by the hundreds. Downtown IMPD Commander Karen Arnett says she is preparing to let her bosses know how many more officers she needs to keep people safe - especially from violent attacks.

As downtown grows by leaps and bounds, the number of criminals looking for opportunity will, too. Monday night near St. Clair and California streets, a man asked an IUPUI student walking home for the correct time. The student, who was too afraid to go on camera, says it was a ploy to catch him off guard.

"I pulled my cell phone out, so I am looking at it and the next thing I remember is, like, punches on my face," the victim said.

The robber got away with his wallet after a violent beating.

That student isn't the only recent downtown victim. A woman was knocked to the ground and robbed inside a parking garage on Wilson Street.

The attacks come as the downtown district put together proposals to get more officers riding bikes and walking downtown streets. There are currently about 55 officers covering the four square mile district, a fast-growing area of concern and a new mission.

"Look at what our current staffing is, where the gap is and then we can start to ask him and City-County Council exactly what we need to increase our personnel," said IMPD Capt. Phil Burton.

The increase in downtown patrols can't come soon enough, especially for people downtown who need to feel safe again.

"I felt safe downtown. I never thought it would happen to me," said the IUPUI victim.