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Indianapolis officials discuss progress in six target areas

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 28, 2015) – The City of Indianapolis has spent the past six months targeting designated high crime areas. Public safety officials met Tuesday to give an update on their progress and discuss the challenges that still exist.

Back in the fall, six target areas were identified based on statistics. The areas make up a mere eight square miles but statistics show there is a 595 percent greater likelihood of a homicide there.

The focus areas are identified by the following intersections:

  • 16th and Tibbs
  • 29th and MLK
  • 34th and Illinois
  • 38th and Sherman
  • New York and Sherman
  • 42nd and Post

Public Safety Director Troy Riggs said his department is utilizing data to determine the progress but don’t expect to see results overnight. Crime statistics from 2014 to 2015 actually show an increase in the homicide and shooting rates in these target areas.

“Well the homicide rate, the crime rates in the city are going down but in these six areas we’ve seen a slight increase in homicides and a slight increase in shootings and that’s why I said early on that some of these areas could worsen before they get better that’s why we’re in these areas and there’s no quick fixes to these,” said Riggs.

IMPD is focusing its efforts in high crime areas by deploying extra resources. The department‘s North District recently added nine new recruits and used the extra manpower to free up officers to patrol in these areas. Four veteran officers on middle shift are patrolling in the area of 38th and Sherman and 34th and Illinois.

“These officers have been here a while they know where the trouble spots are, they know who the trouble people are, they know where the trouble locations are so they’re able to go in there and hopefully get some people,” said North District Commander Chris Bailey.

Commander Bailey said the main goals are getting illegal guns and drugs off the street. Officers are also working to build a relationship with the community. Public safety officials point to signs of progress because more tips are coming in to Crime Stoppers.

Director Riggs said crime is typically under-reported in these communities. He believes property crime numbers could go up as residents begin to feel more comfortable reporting crime and talking to police.

Police are also trying to figure out where the criminals are coming from. Statistics show most people arrested in the target areas live somewhere else. For example, 83 percent of people arrested in near 34th and Illinois don’t live in the area.

The Department of Public Safety will continue efforts to reduce crime by holding meeting with partners and the community in May. Officials hope to continue discussing the systematic issues and challenges facings these areas.

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