IMPD credits community involvement for helping to solve three murders in one week

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – In just the past week, IMPD has arrested and charged more than half a dozen people connected to murders around the city. Now, IMPD credits the community with helping to solve these crimes.

IMPD has been working the streets of Indianapolis, making relationships with community members. The officers obtain information on unsolved crimes, and then cracking the case. One of the three murder cases solved was the death of Tamara Sword, a 32-year-old mother of five and daughter of a well-known anti-violence activist. She was caught in the middle of a fun fight back in August of last year. She died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

“Families are going through a tough time, not only in Chicago but in Indianapolis and the entire U.S. It takes nine months to give birth to a precious child and just a second to take their life,” said anti violence activist Andrew Holmes.

Sword’s murder remained unsolved until Wednesday, when two men were charged with her murder. Sword’s killing is one of three separate murders solved in the past week.

“The biggest thing that we are seeing now is witness cooperation and cooperation from the families,” said IMPD Major Richard Riddle.

Holmes knows part of the battle is getting witnesses to talk to police and report suspects. FOX59 News has been helping to create that bridge between homicide detectives and the community. Our team has been profiling the efforts of IMPD Chief Troy Riggs to add a news assistant police chief to work with families of unsolved murder victims. Emphasizing the new beat system where officers get out of their patrol cars and onto the streets, talking with neighbors and building trust.

“We had people come forward and say these individuals have committed these crimes and we want to come forward and we want them off the streets and behind bars,” said Riddle.

Marion County prosecutors are also working with IMPD detectives to protect witnesses of the crimes. This is a major step towards creating a safe place for the community to speak up.  Back on Lafayette Road, Andrew Holmes is hoping the violence ends soon.

“Do not get the call that I got because you will never understand the pain that I have right now, until you go through it. Do not ever go through it, you do not want to be in these shoes,” said Holmes.