Indianapolis officers step up patrols after seven murders in five days; police chief calls for change

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Aug 25 2015) – A string of deadly shootings, including seven murders in five days, is sparking a call for change in Indianapolis.

On Tuesday, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Chief Rick Hite held a meeting with dozens of community leaders to address the ongoing crime problem.

Hite promised to step up patrols following the deadly weekend.

“We’re the police and we cannot allow the violence and not escalate enforcement efforts,” said Hite.

“I’m saying no solution is unacceptable, the status quo is unacceptable,” said Rev. Charles Harrison.

Harrison lobbied for stricter gun controls in the city. Others on the city-county council left the meeting convinced more money needs to be spent on early intervention programs.

“We tend to focus on incarceration and building justice centers for billions of dollars. The money should go on the front end by funding community centers and funding youth programs,” said council member Leroy Robinson.

If you pinpoint them on a map of Indianapolis, only two of last seven homicides took place in city’s hot spots, but Hite says that’s not a surprise.

He still plans to beef up patrols of the city’s traditionally troubled areas.

“Shootings happen at a place of convenience, but where did they come from prior to that shooting?” said Hite. “I don’t want to kill you in a place you can find me.”

So far, only one of the last seven homicides has even seen an arrest, but the chief admits making more arrests isn’t the only solution to stop the killing.

“The community has to drive this. It can’t just be law enforcement. There are not enough facilities to arrest our way out of this problem,” said Hite.

The increased patrols started Monday night and Hite guaranteed Tuesday’s meeting won’t be the only one. He plans to meet with other groups around different parts of the city in the weeks ahead.

Mayor Greg Ballard’s office released the following statement in response to the recent violence:

The events of the last week are of great concern, and they underscore the importance of supporting a holistic, wrap-around approaches to building a stronger community. We are losing too many young people to senseless acts of violence, and it’s time to embrace long term solutions that include mentoring, conflict resolution, and access to mental health services.

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