INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — IMPD announced its 13th arrest for the January 2021 homicide cases. While this is encouraging news, the department’s leaders know there is still much work to be done.
“There is still a lot of families and victims waiting for answers and so, we’re not celebrating,” Assistant Chief Chris Bailey said. “Our detectives are working right now to try to solve even more cases and hold accountable those who commit violence in our community.”
Tuesday’s arrest brings the homicide cases clearing rate to roughly 54%. During this period last year, IMPD said the clearance rate was right around 83%.
“We had a lot less cases in January of last year, ten less cases,” Bailey said. “We also had cases in January of last year that were justified, that were self defense or otherwise. In January of this year, none of the 24 cases are non-criminal homicides. They’re all criminal homicides. So, I think that’s the big difference.”
But, Bailey said the officers do not lose sight of the fact that each case represents a person.
“We don’t focus on that number,” Bailey said. “We focus on the names and the families and the justice, and so that’s what we’re going to focus on.”
Justice for people like Melissa Jude and her son Chandler Bussey. Someone killed Chandler in June near Arsenal Park on the city’s north side.
“Like for every other case, if you know something, say something,” Jude pleaded.
Jude is not only a voice for Chandler but for many other grieving families in Indy. She noticed IMPD’s recent arrests too.
“By no means is it anything we celebrate because we know someone else is losing their child or a family member in a different way,” Jude said.
Jude did say news of arrests for these other families does bring some hope. Bailey said it can also send a message to our community.
“What it provides us is legitimacy in the community,” Bailey said. “When the community sees us getting to the point of arrest, then they can have a little more faith in the [criminal] justice system.”
As police and families work, pray and plead for justice, Bailey said detectives commit themselves to stopping the most violent people in our community. That includes those involved in drug trafficking and/or shooting illegally owned guns.
“I want your viewers to know, that’s the type of crimes we’re focused in on,” Bailey said. “We’re not focused in on casting large nets in neighborhoods, hoping to find a big fish. We’re focused on those people, places and behaviors that are contributing to the violence. It’s our top priority in 2021.”
Bailey added as we completed our interview, IMPD detectives were working on an investigation into more than 14 robberies at dollar stores across the east and south sides of Indy. They made two arrests in those cases.
“That’s what I’m talking about,” Bailey said. “We’re focused on those violent offenders. People that are robbing people are dangerous. You get angry, someone resists then it can end up in someone shot or murdered. We don’t want that in our city.”