National experts descend on Indianapolis for anti-violence summit

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By Michael Henrich

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Sept. 3, 2014) -- Experts in law enforcement are descending on Indianapolis Wednesday for the start of a three-day conference focused on reducing violent crime in the Circle City.

Acting U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler spoke with FOX59 before the start of the anti-violence summit, which will include top public safety officials and U.S. Attorneys from several areas across the country.

"We’ll sit down and talk about some of the best practices.  What works, what doesn't," Minkler said.  "Hopefully, we'll take some of the best practices from other U.S. Attorneys' offices and be able to implement them here, in addition to the current programs we have."

Public perception is that violent crime is on the rise as Indianapolis has seen roughly 90 homicides so far in 2014.

"Drugs and violent crime are a big problem here," said the acting U.S. attorney.

While the findings of the anti-violence summit will be made public in a news conference Friday, FOX59 asked Minkler about his and the federal government's role in tackling this issue.

"My first reaction is how I can use the federal hammer," he said.  "The federal handle is very strong because it has mandatory minimums and pretrial detention.  I would think you could use it in a neighborhood where there is a very violent crime problem.

"Using that federal hammer would immediately do something about that crime problem, but the question is, how do you take care of it down the road?  And there [is] where we talk about the reentry program.  What do you do with the people when they get out of prison?"

Local officials, including the Marion County Prosecutor, Department of Public Safety Director and IMPD Chief, will make presentations to the visiting experts at the start of the summit.