INDIANAPOLIS — After a record year of violence in Indianapolis, the city’s northeast side is trying to move forward.

“In 2021, we had a major uptick in homicides actually and violent crime,” said Joe Garrison, co-founder of the North Shadeland Alliance.

Specifically, Garrison said the corner of 75th and Shadeland was one of the problem spots last year as it was site to several crime scenes. He said it’s one of the concerns the alliance has worked to address over time.

“A couple of years ago, we put in an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department substation at 7th and Shadeland, which has increased the presence of the police officers,” he said.

While more police on site has helped reduce crime, officials said it doesn’t come easy.

“Some of the biggest challenges is that recruitment,” said Commander Ida Williams with the IMPD Community Engagement and Outreach Bureau.

The challenges of hiring more officers was one of the talking points at Monday’s “Pizza with the Police and Pastors” event.

IMPD, faith-based leaders and the community met up for pizza and discussion at Castleton United Methodist Church. There they spoke about and collaborated on ways to help make communities safer.

“We have a lot of the same concerns obviously and also some of the same solutions,” said Williams. “It’s just a matter of how we put all of this together.”

Garrison said when it comes to solutions, like boosting patrols, he knows police can’t do it alone. He added that it takes the community to work together, and that it is already happening.

“We know that in the North District of Indianapolis that we don’t have enough police officers. That there tends to be a shortage these days,” he said. “Along with more police officers, it’s getting the community involved.”

Garrison said neighbors are starting to look for ways to be part of the solution, including joining the alliance and Ten Point Coalition during their safety patrol walks in neighborhoods.

“Every month we get more people looking to get involved,” Garrison said. “It’s a great area to live. It’s a great area to raise kids, raise a family. We’ve had a few bumps in the roads over the last couple of years, but you know hopefully that’s on the upswing and just getting better every week.”