INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis is now one homicide away from tying 2020’s record number of homicides for the year and IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said he's seeing more people without a violent history becoming killers.
“We've got to get back to people caring about life," Taylor said. “And, if you don't care about life, then I'm concerned about you, because I don't know what you'll do.”
Looking back, Indy saw a drop in homicides in 2019 when there were 172. The number of homicides has climbed since then - 245 in 2020 and, as of 2 p.m. Wednesday, 244 homicide investigations this year. Plus, the city has already had more criminal homicides, which doesn't include acts of self-defense, this year than in the previous year.
Taylor said the city will likely surpass the 2020 homicide record because we still have six more weeks to go until the end of the year.
The chief hopes the new Peace in the Streets: STOP the Violence campaign will help.
He praised community members for stepping in to assist people in crisis by helping them find housing, work and take care of other needs. He thinks without that work, Indianapolis would have even more homicides and overall gun violence.
There were 596 non-fatal shootings this year and 674 shooting victims, according to IMPD.
When asked what’s working, Taylor pointed to IMPD’s Violent Crime Task Force and the city's violence reduction teams. He believes those efforts are getting guns off the streets.
He did admit community stakeholders need to work more cohesively.
Going forward, he wants more officers on the streets. He hopes to fill 200 positions, 100 of those will be new positions paid for with federal funds.
He urges local residents to apply, but said he’s looking nationwide for the right people.
"You got to be a person of character and quality,” Taylor said. “I don’t want any riffraff but if you have an interest in law enforcement and you are committed to the cause, then please consider a career with IMPD.”
13News also asked what he needs from the community. Taylor essentially said if you see something, say something.
“Please don't shut us out,” he said. “Please do not have this...this snitch mentality that tells you, you know, 'It's not your business,' or whatever. Too many lives have been lost for that to continue.”
Taylor thinks holding killers accountable will help prevent future violence.