IMPD reports drop in crime but murder stats still high

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – IMPD has reported its final 2017 crime statistics to the FBI that show while over all the numbers are down, the totals for murder and non-fatal shootings remain abnormally high.

“Our robberies are significantly down; our property crime is significantly down; the larcenies and burglaries are down; auto theft is even down,” said IMPD Chief Bryan Roach. “Overall crime is down, but homicides and aggravated assaults are still worthy of our attention.”

That’s because as of this morning, IMPD recorded 29 murders versus 19 at this same time last year when the city was on a record pace for criminal killings and 31 homicides now as opposed to 25 through March 26, 2017.

IMPD’s clearance rate, which includes charges, arrests or resolution through death of a suspect, incarceration on another murder conviction or a finding of self-defense or non-intentional homicide, stands at 74% with 23 current cases and 10 of last year’s investigations off the books.

In 2017 IMPD reported approximately 44% of its cases cleared.

Roach told CBS4 he met with a veteran homicide detective Monday night while leaving police headquarters.

“He said things are improving. I said, ‘What’s going on?’ He said, ‘It’s much easier when people come forward.’ So, I think our homicide detectives are seeing some people come forward in some of these cases and provide information.”

Roach will have the opportunity to gather his own perceptions Wednesday afternoon as he walks with Mayor Joe Hogsett through Haughville on the city’s west side. He will return at 6 p.m. to the Fairfax Christian Church at 602 North Berwick Avenue for a monthly IMPD Stewardship Meeting to report on crime statistics and progress the department and city are making in reaching out to neighborhoods and community councils.

Pitt Thompson, CEO of Christamore House, will be at that meeting and ready to tell the chief and the mayor of the proof he’s witnessed of a stabilized community taking back its streets.

“I see far more residents walking, there’s new businesses opening up here on Michigan Street and then they have the summer festivals right here on Michigan Street. So I see a lot more of the residents being a part of what’s going on here in the community.”

Monday morning IMPD will also roll out its new beat system to replace larger zones with 78-80 smaller neighborhood patrols areas across the city.

Once assigned to a beat, a patrol officer will be responsible for a more concise community, allowing more time to meet neighbors and take a personal interest in their safety concerns.

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