Investigators look for new ways to cut crime

Police responded to the city's sixth shooting in five days Tuesday afternoon.

The sixth shooting in Indianapolis in five days has neighbors concerned and investigators looking for new ways to cut crime quickly. Police are reaching out to about anyone they think can help and an expert says that's not a bad idea.

More scenes, more victims and more fears.

"After I heard 'Boom, boom, boom,' I said, 'There goes somebody else," said a high school student standing near the city's latest east side shooting scene Tuesday evening.

"Violence is getting out of control," said the mother of five children. "They can't go to the park."

Tuesday's shooting happened just blocks from a murder at an Emerson Avenue apartment complex playground.

From two 16-year-olds shot dead four days apart, to Tuesday's shooting, "It just tears me up," says a father, Michael Taylor. "It's just becoming so frequent. It's just insane."

But it wasn't always that way. It wasn't long ago Indianapolis was in a different place and the numbers were moving the other way.

Indianapolis "experienced something like a 35 percent reduction in targeted homicides," says Ball State criminologist Jerry McKean.

He says Indianapolis led the nation in the late 1990's when it rolled out an arsenal of policies to roll back crime.

"They targeted the highest risk offenders, the people that were involved in most of the violent crime," McKean said.

Getting the worst of the worst off streets.

McKean thinks new Federal prosecutions in Indiana for gun crimes are good because Federal sentences keep bad guys locked up longer.

To stop revenge killings, he says tell victim's families and friends, "If you do that, you're going to be in the cell next to them."

Publicize the crackdowns via media, but also through pastors and their street ministries - even bring old gang members into the fight. Have them tell young people "this isn't open to discussion. This has to stop."

But programs are needed too, McKean says. Mentoring programs for young people who want to turn their lives around but don't know how to get out of the place they're in.