IMPD program expands partnerships with other agencies in effort to track criminals better

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is expanding its efforts when it comes to catching criminals. Indianapolis Violence Reduction Partnerships (IVRP) was re-established in 2017. "Crime is not jurisdictional. It goes everywhere. It can go through the state throughout the country,” said IMPD Lt. Brian Gabel. Through this program, officials at the local, state and federal levels focus on a small number of people who are responsible for the violence. “These criminals are our criminals. We’re just on the same page now to help with something that greater than us,” said Fisher Police Chief Ed Gebhart. More than a dozen participating departments gather for bi-weekly meetings where they can share useful information that ranges from names, mugshots, gangs, license plates and frequent locations. “We have a suspect, we may know a name. We may not have all of the associated people they are associated with, especially if it’s a wanted person. We can contact their teams, they can look for people for us,” said Greenfield Police Lt. Nichole Gilbert. Also in the room are parole and probation officers, prosecutors and crime analysts. Most recently, Lt. Gabel connected with a detective from Carmel PD. That detective briefed Gabel about a violent offender. Gabel and his team gathered information to create an action plan to assist Carmel. "I was able to utilize a fugitive tracking team that we had that had familiarity with this individual and had various techniques to track this individual and partnered with U.S. Marshalls. Within 48 hours, that individual was in custody,” said Lt. Gabel. Last September, IMPD assisted Greenfield PD in a rash of car break-ins and burglaries. The partnership led to multiple arrests, stolen cars and guns recovered. "During that time, we were able to work with them, get a search warrant, go hit a house on the west side, where we recovered multiple stolen guns, stolen vehicles and other stolen property from the surrounding agencies,” said Lt. Gilbert. After a meeting in October, other jurisdictions were briefed on Richard Garrett. “Richard Garrett was a culmination that came early in my community. But through those systems, he was identified as a person of interest,” said Chief Gebhart. According to police, Garrett was involved in an east-side crime spree that resulted in two murders. Weeks later, he was involved in a police chase that resulted in the death of Fisher's Police Department K9 Harlej. “Well, we immediately got resources and help from IMPD. When we came up the next day, we knew that he was maybe someone that was wanted and many more crimes. We were able to, because those partnerships were already established, we were able to dive in pretty deep, pretty quick and pretty fast to figure out who we had,” said Chief Gebhart. In 2019, the participating agencies focused on 219 people from Gary to Cumberland to Greenfield. The investigations resulted in 101 arrests. A referral of 90 high-risk offenders was sent to Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett's Community Violence Reduction Team. “If we all get on the same page and we all do that, then I think that we can have an answer to what’s going on around us to the violence around us,” said Chief Gebhart. IMPD hopes to continue increasing partnerships to expand IVRP. "The overall goal is to improve the quality of life for people in the communities. And each jurisdiction takes personal their community and improving the quality of life their communities,” said Lt. Gabel.

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