IMPD rolls out "Operation Safe" to fight crime this summer

IMPD Chief Rick Hite talks about the "Operation Safe" plan.

Criminals in Indianapolis are being put on notice this summer with a new crime-fighting initiative called "Operation Safe."

Police rolled out the plan Thursday afternoon, saying this isn't a good time to be a criminal in Indianapolis. Law enforcement leaders hope Operation Safe will help reduce crime, starting this summer.

Police say it's just a small number of people in our community committing violent crimes and wreaking havoc on our streets.

Operation Safe involves activating several crime-fighting units, addressing social issues, enforcing curfew laws and getting people at home to step up their game when it comes to reporting crime to help take back their neighborhoods.

"Some of them are family members, some of them are friends. Some of them we know, so when they move into the neighborhood, into the houses, someone knows something about their behavior and who they really are. The question is, when they move in next to you, are you willing to fight to get them to turn around their behavior?" said IMPD Chief Rick Hite.

Police have already begun a "Clean Sweep" program and have already rounded up well over 50 people in trouble with the law. Just one component of Operation Safe is cleaning up some neighborhoods.

"Being a criminal in Indy is no longer acceptable, whether it be a traffic unit that stops you, a tactical unit with a guy who is a trained SWAT officer, or a police officer working in the district," Hite said.

Police also hope the mandatory sentencing laws that kick in July 1 will also be a deterrent for people thinking about committing crimes. They say Operation Safe will help keep officers safer, too.

In the past year-and-a-half, eight Metro police officers have been injured by suspect gunfire and suspects have opened fire on officers on 22 different occasions.

Although Operation Safe is kicking off at the start of the summer, it's an ongoing campaign to reduce crime throughout the year.

Police say this is just the beginning of a no-tolerance summer when it comes to criminals running the streets.

"We are going to find you. We are going to turn you around one way or the other. You can do it on your own, or you can do the time," Hite said.