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Strategy to address Indianapolis violent crime discussed in virtual town hall

Police have planned six such events across the city.

INDIANAPOLIS — As Indianapolis police search for information in a Monday shooting - the city's 18th homicide of the year - gun violence remains a big concern. The community took those concerns to police in a town hall.

Because of COVID-19, Monday’s IMPD town hall, the first of six, was virtual and not in person.

The police department’s top brass told those who logged in that their mantra every day is asking themselves “What are we doing to address the violence?” 

IMPD says there are several answers to the question, and one is the town hall series, where residents can connect with the officers who patrol their neighborhoods. Monday's involved the city's southeast patrol district. 

Police believe it's a first step in building trust with the community, who they hope will help them prevent and solve crimes with tips. 

“We want to be approachable. We want you to come up and have a conversation with us and talk to us about things,” said Cmdr. Ronald Hicks. 

RELATED: IMPD plans to focus on violent criminals, guns and recruiting in 2022

According to IMPD, homicides and non-fatal shootings are down in the southeast district - along with robberies, burglaries and larcenies - compared to this same time last year. 

Car thefts, carjackings and arsons are all up. 

RELATED: Nonprofit hopes to reduce crime in Indianapolis with new project

Police said the department’s Violence Reduction Team will target people, places and behaviors that foster violence. 

“We’re not just going out and making random stops of people, hard-working men and women going to work every day, that’s not what we’re doing. We are targeting people who are committing crimes in our neighborhoods,” Hicks said.

IMPD’s next town hall will be Feb. 15 at 4 p.m. for the city’s Downtown District.

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