The Fraternal Order of Police's "blue light" vigil to honor fallen Indianapolis Metro Police Officer Perry Renn, his family and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) is tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Indianapolis FOP Lodge #86, 1525 S. Shelby Street in Indianapolis.
The union is inviting all police officers, their families and the public to attend.
Officer Perry Renn, a 22-year veteran on the force, was gunned down Saturday as he answered a call on his beat. He is the second IMPD officer killed in gunfire in less than a year--many more fired at in the line of duty.
In the east side neighborhood where Renn was killed, neighbors in the crossfire wonder if more officers on the street are the answer to quell the violence in the city.
Tommy Stone, who had a window in his house shatter after the gun battle, doesn't think so.
"Just getting more policemen may not be the whole answer," he said. "We need to stop it before it happens. We just keep doing more things in the community to help one another, it could stop a lot of this violence."
The city thinks the answer, in part, is putting more officers on the streets.
IMPD loses 40-50 officers each year due to retirement, and they really aren't replaced.
The department is now several hundred officers short, and the FOP considers it a 'critical' situation as attacks on police officers are on the rise.
There is a plan to add 500 more officers to the department over the next five years.
Public Safety Director Troy Riggs says the city needs to eliminate the homestead tax credit and raise the public safety tax to free up the money it needs to hire enough officers.
One officer from IMPD's Southeast District thinks it will help.
"Something bad can happen any day and there may not be anything you can do about it," said Julie Dutrieux, an officer in IMPD's Southeast District. "But I don't want something bad to happen because the city or whoever couldn't figure out how to hire enough police officers to do this."
In addition to the "blue light prayer vigil" tonight, there is also a call to turn on your porch lights or any lights Friday in memory of Renn and in support of the IMPD family.
Memorial contributions can be made in Perry's name to the Indianapolis Police Foundation of the FOP at www.fop86.org or checks made out to The Indianapolis Police Foundation can be sent to the FOP at 1525 South Shelby Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204.