Mapleton-Fall Creek residents seek sense of security

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A north side neighborhood is fighting for its sense of security and reputation following a deadly shooting.

Steven Edens lives in Mapleton-Fall Creek, just a few blocks from where Sunday's fatal home invasion occurred."It's shocking but not surprising. It makes me a little scared," Edens said.

Steven Edens

The Mapleton-Fall Creek neighborhood has struggled with crime for several years. Just north of downtown, it's bordered by Meridian, 38th Street and Fall Creek. IMPD crime data show at least 244 police runs in the area between May 1 and July 1st for everything from aggravated battery to robbery, theft and vandalism.

One of Edens' neighbors has been broken into three times.While Edens hasn't been a victim of crime, he said, "Yeah, it's always on my mind but I take precautions, so I do feel safe."

Edens has a security system and two dogs. He also has no plans to move. He loves his house, its proximity to downtown and Broad Ripple and the positive changes he's seeing.

"Just the houses they're re-doing, the people moving in and taking care of their property," he said. "It adds to that feeling of safety. It's cleaning up the neighborhood."

In fact, Edens bought his home from the Mapleton-Fall Creek Community Development Corporation. His is one of 30 homes the CDC has rehabbed or built in the area since 2010.

"Financially it's a great opportunity," Edens said. "Plus the house appraised at more than what I paid for it, which is nice."

Duane Ingram, chief operating officer for the CDC, said, "Rehabbing abandoned homes or turning vacant lots into pocket parks is one way the CDC is fighting crime. We take away the opportunities and spaces for illegal activities to happen, so we take away the place for the nester or drug dealer to take root and have those criminal activities."

He said the organization also works to connect residents to community resources such as daycare, job training and educational opportunities.

But in the short term, he stresses one of the most effective tools to fight crime is getting residents to report or any suspicious activity.

He said the web site Next Door has been especially helpful in letting residents share information.

"Sometimes people are more comfortable telling a friend or neighbor than calling police," Ingram said.

He noted that several tips shared on the website led to the arrest of man suspected of breaking into several homes.

"We need to work together. We can't do it alone," he said.

Duane Ingram

Edens said he, for one, has no qualms about keeping an eye on things and reporting suspicious activity.

"I just really love my house and the neighborhood," he said.