Teenagers to notice additional restrictions and rules downtown

Beginning Saturday, teenagers will notice additional restrictions and rules downtown around Circle Centre Mall.

The Indianapolis Metro Police Department said these rules are in addition to tactics they already use in the area.
Chief of Police Rick Hite said the department and a number of other organizations are working together to stop the violence downtown. There will be a zero tolerance policy for bad behavior.

Saturday, there will be officers standing outside of the mall entrances with metal detecting wands. IMPD said a detective will use the wand, if they have reasonable suspicion someone may have a gun. In addition, there will be a handful of officers who will monitor and follow some of the buses on the east side, traveling downtown.  Those are some examples of a number of different strategies that will be implemented this weekend. It is unclear if any of these changes will be permanent.

Also, Chief Hite said Simon Property Group bought technology during the Super Bowl, which they will use for surveillance. Chief Hite would not give any additional details about the technology.

“We’re not going to allow anyone to inflict violence on our community and damage the good reputation of this city,” Hite said.

There have been three incidents over three weekends where there was some sort of violent situation. Teens will have to follow a number of rules, which have been designed to control the recent violence around the mall.

On Friday, faith leaders with the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition held a news conference. They suggested other ideas about stopping the violence. It included curfews, requiring underage teenagers to be accompanied by an adult and following the Indianapolis Violence Reduction Partnership.

“If we don’t do something about the crime (and) violence here at this mall, then this downtown area is going to look like some across the country,” Pastor Charles Harrison said.

Harrison said it is time to take steps to deal with gun violence throughout the city.

“We’re frustrated because again and again they keep calling the ministries to come down and fix this problem. Why not put things in place (to) resolve this problem?” Pastor Harrison said.

Pastor Harrison said parents need to take responsibility.

“These are your children and you cannot expect the city, the police, or the religious community to babysit your children. This is their responsibility,” Pastor Harrison said.

IMPD said every weekend they will reevaluate their plan to determine whether changes need to be made and to determine if previous plans worked.

Fox59 learned that the public housing authority is putting pressure on their resident to keep eye on kids.

John Campbell, who is the Circle Center Mall Manager, issued the following statement Friday:

“Circle Centre stands steadfast with all of our downtown neighbors and stakeholders on the paramount objective of keeping downtown pleasant. While we employ a professionally, well trained security staff and hire off-duty police officers who work hand-in-hand with our outstanding local law enforcement officials, we agree with Mayor Ballard who stated that parental/guardian responsibility is the key to curbing youth incidents.

“Circle Centre applauds the City for adopting a strong stance of ‘Zero Tolerance’ for any inappropriate behavior which has been a standard procedure when inside the property. Finally, we are proud both of Circle Centre’s integral role as a catalyst for downtown Indianapolis’s dynamic redevelopment and its over 17-year record of success as a thriving urban mall,” Campbell said.