Federal, local law enforcement continue partnership efforts amid growing concerns over violence

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – As IMPD officers investigated another shooting scene, local and federal law enforcement leaders gathered to discuss plans to tackle Indy’s violence. Thursday afternoon, three more people were shot on the east side. That’s in addition to three more people shot and killed in the city this week.

Lined up in the mayor’s conference room, law enforcement spoke primarily about the success at the federal level, which is taking crime guns and criminals off the streets.

U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler provided numbers from 2018 through 2020. These cases fall under Project Safe Neighborhoods:

  • 2018 federal PSN cases – 218
  • 2018 non-fatal shootings – 447
  • 2018 homicides with gun used – 150
  • 2018 murders with gun used – 132
  • 2019 federal PSN cases – 220
  • 2019 non-fatal shootings – 460
  • 2019 homicides with gun used – 136
  • 2019 murders with gun used – 119
  • 2020 federal PSN cases – 10
  • 2020 homicides with gun used – 15
  • 2020 murders with gun used – 13

CBS4 asked law enforcement leaders if there are new plans for preventing crime in 2020. Mayor Joe Hogsett said “it’s not something that’s necessarily new,” rather improving crime fighting from a technology and staffing standpoint.

“I’d also add our continued commitment in the city to add additional police officers to the street,” Hogsett said. “I think there will be some announcements within the next couple of months by the chief and by the assistant chief about the expansion of our community-based beat policing.”

Hogsett said we are seeing the progress of plans from 2017 through 2019, and the mayor said more success will come in 2020. Minkler spoke about those technological advances, specifically the crime gun intelligence center and non-fatal shooting data collection.

Success on the federal level is evident, but locally, people are scared. During Wednesday’s prayer vigil on the northeast side, the neighbors’ fear bubbled over. They prayed for our elected leaders, and they said the reason they want community gatherings, like the vigil, is to find ways to make progress on combating crime.

“This is our community, this is our people, Tandy Adams, Castleton UMC’s Director of Family Ministries, said. “What’s important to us is, we can’t change what happened, we can’t make it not happen, but what we can do is come together and figure out how to make it better.”

During the media availability with local and federal leaders, CBS4 brought concerns of neighbors to the people in charge of protecting them. We told Hogsett, Minkler and those in attendance people expressed their desires to make their neighborhoods safer, and asked us if we had any ideas. Hogsett had a message for the community.

“I would say that there is a community collective that can move the dial,” Hogsett said. “What our US Attorney has focused on, appropriately because he is the federal prosecutor, is holding people accountable who have committed crimes. But, I would say to this lady or any other concerned citizen, is that the community’s where you have seen a reduction in the level of gun violence. Also, our communities who over the course of several years, committed a lot of time, energy and resources to crime reduction, crime prevention and crime intervention.”

Hogsett also said he is proud of the money poured into grassroots organizations. Many of those work to engage people who are at-risk of committing crimes.

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