Tipsters' tipping totals top out after SWAT shootout
Police say they are finally getting the help they need from neighbors to help them track down some of the city's most wanted suspects.
There have been a spike in tips to Crime Stoppers in the last week, since a suspected drug dealer shot four IMPD officers during a raid - and that comes on top of a 50 percent increase in tips last year.
One east Indianapolis resident, Matt, says he has had to call police on a crack house in his neighborhood.
"It has a positive effect," he said. "Always does. Get the bad people out of the neighborhood that shouldn't be in the neighborhood."
The tip worked for Matt. The crack house disappeared.
The SWAT raid on a major drug house last week also sparked by tips to police. Four SWAT officers were shot and the drug suspect, 27-year-old Andrew Sizemore, was killed.
The city says it's stepping up its efforts and so are citizens. After last Wednesday's SWAT shootout, "there's been an increase in tips, definitely. Especially narcotics tips," said Crime Stoppers Director Steve DuBois.
"It's the citizens who have to tell us about this and they're telling us a lot lately," DuBois said.
DuBois says citizens want something done. When they see police acting on their tips, they're more confident someone is listening and will back them up.
But it's not just about Crime Stoppers getting the tips. It's about getting them out quickly to the cops on the beat.
"We've consolidated all of IMPD's tip lines into Crime Stoppers and we can take a tip and look at it and send it to a detective in probably ten minutes," DuBois said.
The tipster's identity is protected - police don't know who tipped Crime Stoppers. In minutes, a cop can have a suspect's photo on their computer and more.
"You would be amazed what we get from our web tips and text tippers," said DuBois.
With camera phones everywhere, Crime Stoppers gets photos and videos of suspects and activity, helping police act faster.
"The citizens have seen there is a response to their tips and they just naturally increase," said DuBois.
"It's nice to see," said Matt, the east side neighbor. "You know, they're doing their job and you feel more secure, I guess it's what you'd say."