Families insist Indy’s public safety crisis must be personal to entire community to move forward

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INDIANAPOLIS — Hundreds of families are shattered as the city struggles to stop more people from dying by violent crimes. We have not reached the end of October yet and already 200 people have been killed this year.

Sadly, there are still hundreds more families grieving the murders and homicides of their loved ones from years ago. Gregory Wilson Sr.’s son was killed in October 2015 and his murder is still unsolved.

“So every year I see all these cases, that’s gonna make it more difficult,” Wilson said. “Because we only have so many people who can work on these cases, and so many cases, but I trust God. Look, you might get away here on earth but I believe that we have a God that you will pay for your crime. So I trust Him and faith in Him.”

Wilson has held a vigil for his son every October since his murder happened. This year, he pleaded not only for justice for his son, but every family who is waiting for answers and closure.

“It gets tiresome, it wears on you, wears on your soul, your body, your emotions,” Wilson explained. “But I have to; I’m compelled to do it because I’m my son’s voice. He’s not here so I’m his voice. But not just his voice, I’m the voice of all those families of victims of violence who don’t have the platform or who are not here able to speak out about what’s happening.”

Pastor Douglas Tate spoke at the vigil and shared a message for the community during the vigil.

“We have to act like it’s our child,” Tate said. “Every member of this community has to come forward and if it was your daughter, your son, your loved one whose life was just suddenly taken is how we need to come together.”

This is personal for the 27 IMPD homicide detectives working on these cases. On average, each detective is investigating seven or eight cases, some more and some less depending on the shift. McCartt said it is recommended that no homicide detective have more than five cases per detective per year.

“Cases continue to come in, that’s been truer this year than any other year,” McCartt said. “So they can’t spend all their time on one case, but they will continue to work a case as long as there are leads to follow and things to follow up on, they will continue to work that. Again, they have to triage their cases because the cases continue to come in. They’re not going to put a workable case aside just because they’ve gotten some more work piled on top of it. So they continue to work, they continue to put in those hours. They continue to sacrifice that time away from family.”

McCartt said homicide detectives respond to overdoses, natural deaths, accidental deaths and murders. He claims the department is working on some solutions.

“We’re having the child abuse unit take care of the child deaths now,” McCartt explained. “We’re trying to take some of the overdose deaths off of their plate.”

McCartt insisted detectives continue running down every lead. Families beg people to come forward to give police information to work with.

“The closure, we need closure so we can heal or begin to heal,” Wilson said. “That don’t mean that you’re over it but that means that you know that your justice was gotten for your child.”

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