Mayor proposes new approach to fighting crime

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The city of Indianapolis is looking for answers to its crime problem.

Mayor Greg Ballard is proposing what he calls a 'new' approach to fighting crime. It includes several things, including adding police officers and enforcing new curfew laws.

Adding 280 police officers and raising the public safety tax is certainly making headlines.

But, some of the other nuances of the mayor's plan may also get to the heart of the violence problem.

Consider recent violent episodes.

The shootout at a Lawrence convenience store left bullets littering the store parking lot and gunfire broke out after two customers bumped into one another.

The 4th of July shooting in Broad Ripple left seven people shot. Police say it was the result of an argument that escalated into gunfire after two people bumped into each other.

It all comes down to knowing how to resolve conflict.

"Over one third of expulsions happened because of fights and similar disagreements," said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. "Over one third of homicides are fights and revenge. Clearly people are not learning to play well with others at home or at school."

The mayor is hoping to expand a program already in place, turning to a non-profit group which teaches kids how to resolve conflicts peacefully. By teaching this at a young age, he hopes incidents like we've seen recently will end.

The mayor's plan also looks at curfew laws.

Knowing where young people are at night is an important element when you consider the statistics.

Right now, 15 to 17-year-olds can stay out until 1 a.m. on the weekends.

The mayor wants that moved back to 11 p.m.

"This is not a difficult concept," Ballard said. "This is our chance to intervene with that child and his/her parent before it's too late."

There is already an 11 p.m. curfew on week nights.

Click here for more of the mayor's plan.