INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (January 3, 2016) – Joe Hogsett has been Indianapolis’ mayor for only three days.
Already four people have been shot on his watch.
At the New Yorker Bar on the eastside two groups of people were booted from the premises for unruly behavior early Sunday morning.
Outside two people were shot.
Following a public safety summit in his conference room on the 25th floor of the City County Building Saturday, Hogsett was asked how he hoped to solve the city’s record murder tally of 144 from 2015 by relying on the same collection of state, federal and local authorities who attended countless other crime strategy meetings and news conferences over the last four years.
“That’s a fair question,” the new mayor answered. “There is one new face here and that’s mine.
“If the more cynical observer might say, ‘I’ve seen these faces before saying the same thing,’ I would say to that cynical observer, give us some time, wait and see what the results are and make your judgments accordingly.”
Hogsett will be relying on the data-driven approach of his new police chief, the old public safety director, Troy Riggs who said he was disappointed that regular IMPD meetings designed to statistically track crime in the city ended when he resigned to take a post at IUPUI last summer.
“A lot of the statistics are the same, a lot of the faces are the same, but the approach is going to be much more aggressive and much more pointed to make sure we are arresting the right people at the right time,” he said.
Riggs announced he will start crunching the data again immediately and regularly brief the city’s neighboring agencies and state and federal partners on the findings.
“To have a real time crime center in this city to get information out quickly and efficiently where we can look at emerging trends immediately and deal with that, that has not happened in this city before.”
Riggs said he would also expand the footprint of four of the department’s six focus areas and flood those neighborhoods with more officers to bring community policing closer to the residents.
The chief also pledged that non-profit agencies would bring, “millions of dollars,” into the crime fight.
The Reverend Charles Harrison of the Ten Point Coalition said his group would focus its efforts in 2016 in the South Butler-Tarkington community and the United Northwest Area near West 29th Street and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Street and utilize statisticians from IUPUI to break down the data of its efforts.
“We’re going to be looking at numbers with youth between the ages of 14 and 25,” said Harrison, “certainly the number of referrals we make, the number of kids that we get into GED programs or back into school, we’re also going to be looking at the number of youth that we get into mentoring programs.
“IUPUI is going to be crunching those numbers, they’re going to be having people who are going to be going out with Ten Pint to be able to analyze the work that we do.”
Damon Lee has done his own analysis about the quality of life and lack of visible narcotics trafficking in South B/T after he led neighbors in pushing drug dealers out of the community following the murder of Deshaun Swanson, 10, during a wake at a home Graceland Avenue in September.
The case has yet to be solved despite a houseful of relatives and witnesses.
“When you got some of the most notorious drug dealers in the neighborhood telling you to keep up the good work and they don’t even want to live around murderers and rapists, and keep doing your thing, and guys in prison saying that if anything happens to you and the guys come to prison, they’re going to take care of them for you, it’s a beautiful thing to let you know that you’re doing the right thing,” said Lee.
Monday night at 6:30 the Butler-Tarkington Neighborhood Association will hold a meeting at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Service Center to explore ways to continue the momentum to a safe community begun last fall in the wake of four neighborhood killings.
From his view of the city atop one of its tallest buildings, Hogsett pointed out his conference room windows in the direction of the northside neighborhood where a young boy died in a targeted shooting that shot the wrong target.
“I may be deficient in other areas,” said the rookie mayor and former U.S. Attorney, “but one area that I feel comfortable in is probably the single most important area that the people of the city of Indianapolis need right now and that’s public safety.”