INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Thursday, IMPD revealed a massive sweep has been going on since Monday across the city of Indianapolis.
Officers arrested 227 people so far, serving 13 search warrants and taking 30 firearms, 9 vehicles, $64,733 in cash and varying amounts of heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and meth off the streets.
But police aren’t just locking people up.
IMPD Chief Troy Riggs and Mayor Joe Hogsett have made it very clear that cutting crime in Indianapolis requires getting below the surface and weeding out hopelessness. Riggs said Thursday the arrests and sweep bring a new approach to law enforcement.
“I think people need to know we went in with specific goals in mind based on information that the public that lives there in sharing, and that’s something new for us,” he said.
IMPD Chief Troy Riggs sat down with us on Thursday evening to not only discuss the uptick in tips and the latest sweep, but police involving social services more than they ever have before.
“There’s a lot of things that we’re doing that traditionally, police departments don’t do,” he said.
“We go in and just start asking questions,” said Edward Castellano, with Indianapolis EMS, “Look at the house, look at the condition, see if there’s any kids around or anything,” he said.
Castellano is part of the Indianapolis EMS CORE Care Team, a group of paramedics and social workers that frequently go door to door.
Their role is heightened during and after a sweep. The group canvassed a section of North Oxford Street on Thursday.
“What we see first-hand, and why it’s important is because, when you take away that main character, whether it’s the breadwinner we’ll say, or the person in charge of the family, a lot of times you are left with people underneath that don’t know where to go, that are just lost,” he said.
Castellano and others try to connect them with community help.
Riggs said putting someone behind bars is often a short-term solution to a much deeper problem.
“We know that locking someone up is not the answer. Counseling, mental health issues, dealing with those long-term is what’s going to drive the crime rate down,” said Riggs.
Those arrested Thursday once taken to the Arrestee Processing Center were interviewed to see what personal needs they might have to get them out of a life of crime.
We’re told the heightened sweep efforts will continue through the weekend.