Group implements crime watch groups to prevent violence on northeast side

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Less than two months into 2020 and the Circle City has already seen more than 30 homicides. We’ve heard people say again and again, they want to do something to stop the violent crime.

A group called BRAG is taking the first step to doing that on the Northeast side by starting their own crime watch groups. The group is holding a meeting tonight to announce plans on how to implement them into their neighborhoods.

Last week, the group met with IMPD’s North District leadership team and more than 200 residents. They discussed their concerns with the amount of crime especially after a man was robbed and killed at a Subway in that area.

IMPD’s team told them they cannot reduce crime alone and will need the community’s help. BRAG pointed out it was clear from the meeting that the people wanted to help.

The group enlisted the help of John Boggs. He helped implement crime watch groups at Castleton Estates. He told us seven years ago, the neighborhood had a lot of burglaries and people who lived there wanted it to stop. So, he worked with police and BRAG to start the crime watch groups and work out any kinks.

“What we did do is take 327 homes and broke them up into 23 sections called blocks,” explained Boggs. “Each block has a volunteer block captain. That person is responsible for about 14 homes. We give them all the info like call numbers, emails they get to know their neighbors.”

Since crime watch groups were implemented in Castleton Estates, the neighborhood has seen virtually no crime.

"With 2 miles of this clubhouse, we've had over 500 burglaries at the same time frame that we've had none for the almost 7 years,” said Boggs. “It’s just been remarkable. We're an island. The PD talks about our low crime rating.”

Boggs explains block captains are volunteers and are important to the success of crime watch groups.

“The block captains are the key to the whole thing,” said Boggs. “Getting to know your neighbors, getting to know what cars they drive, if someone's on vacation. It’s basically just going and talking to them and saying we've got a concern.”

“We make them feel safe because they have somebody that they can call,” Boggs goes on to say. “We always tell them we're just the eyes and ears of the police department, we are not policemen.”

BRAG is holding a meeting tonight at 7:00 p.m. Castleton United Methodist Church to implement the crime watch groups on the Northeast side.

They ask that HOA board members, leaders of safety and security committees or any other volunteers from neighborhoods there attend.

For more information, click here.

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