INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett prefers to look on the bright side when comparing the city’s 2022 homicide statistics with last year’s record killing pace.
“The numbers are down. We are down 10% in intentional homicides, criminal homicides, we’re down about 10% if not maybe a little bit more than that in overall homicides,” Hogsett told FOX59 News. “To be able to say halfway through the year that we’re 10% where we were at this time last year, if that stays, to be able to say we’re down 10% in both criminal homicides and overall homicides, that’s progress and the people of Indianapolis have a lot to look forward to.”
Well, yes and no.
As of June 30, Indianapolis has recorded 110 homicides this year compared with 122 on June 30, 2021, when the city was on pace to record 272 killings.
Despite this year’s lower tally, 2022 is still shaping up to be the second deadliest year in Indianapolis history.
When compared with a year ago, Indianapolis has suffered at least 103 homicide incidents in 2022 as opposed to 101 incidents in 2021 which was marked by three mass murders that claimed 18 lives.
During an appearance in Washington Park, surrounded by dozens of youngsters from an Indy Parks day program, Mayor Hogsett pledged that more city resources will be deployed across Indianapolis to keep the peace during the July 4th holiday.
“This weekend we will have more park rangers and law enforcement presence in our parks,” he said.
IMPD officers and park rangers will be joined by Peacemakers and Violence Interrupters from the Office of Public Health & Safety which lost one of their own when John Barnett was shot to death at 34th and Keystone Avenue over the past weekend.
”I think you’re gonna see people out in the community this weekend dedicated in his honor to do everything they can to make this Fourth of July holiday exactly that, a holiday with peace,” said Hogsett.
Life Coach Program Manager Bernard Mickle worked alongside Barnett and will be out this weekend.
“We’re gonna be available to de-escalate whatever situation that we see come up to the best of our ability,” said Mickle. “We wanna be consistent as we are persistent and being in the streets, putting myself and Peacekeepers, all of us being out in the right spaces, in the right places, at the right time, going to those places where large crowds are gathered, so all those are things that we are doing.”
Hogsett said the City is on the verge of releasing the first round of 2022 anti-violence grants to community groups totaling $4.5 million.
“As these grants are being made, a new round of grant applications will be forthcoming so that later in the fall we’ll be making more money available to more organizations.”
A total of $15 million has been set aside to fund citywide community anti-violence grants.
The City County Council has divvied up $1.3 million in district grants among its 25 councilors.
City County Councilor William “Duke” Oliver represents the 9th District where John Barnett was murdered and a non-fatal shooting occurred the next day.
The $32,500 Oliver’s district was allocated for community anti-violence programs went to United Northeast Community Development Corporation and Freewheelin’ Community Bikes, though the councilor chose to highlight what he called “the good news” that happened recently among his constituents.
“Three got married over the weekend, couple of them bought homes in the area,” he said. “I’m proud of that, we’re all proud of that.”