INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- When unsolved murders topped 60 over a year ago, the Let’s Talk campaign encouraged people to step up and help police. Many families of homicide victims came forward and told FOX59 that there’s a conversation IMPD is not having.
Families were hurt, detectives were stretched thin and cases were piling up. Families were not blaming police, but there was a clear breakdown in communication and how families felt their cases were being handled. That’s when FOX59 stepped in and took the community’s concerns to IMPD.
Now, former police chief Troy Riggs has met with families. As a result of those meetings, he added Asst. Chief Randy Taylor to work directly with families of homicide victims. IMPD also added beat officers who walk the neighborhoods building relationships.
Gleaners and organizations like Community Health Network joined IMPD in addressing quality of life issues that often lead to crime.
Now FOX59’s Fanchon Stinger is bringing some of those same families and some new families together with IMPD again. This time they sat down with Asst. Chief Randy Taylor and Commander Karen Arnette, who was recently added to also help communicate with families and educate them on the criminal investigation process.
While families are happy with the improvements and progress in fighting crime, many tell FOX59 they still don’t hear from their detectives, because there are simply not enough officers as cases continue to pile up.
Families also say it’s hard to have faith in justice when some have been waiting for years for the killer to be caught and brought to justice.
So what about the homicide cases still unsolved?
During our conversation with families who are still waiting for justice, something unexpected happened. Families began to build bonds of friendship and strength as they shared their painful stories.
Alicia Zimmer has been in a depression for a year and a half since her daughter was killed. This conversation was the first in which she connected with other parents who understand what she’s going through.
Annette Willis’ son Marcus was killed in 2012. She told another mom, “I can feel your pain because I share the same pain, you can feel my pain because we share the same pain.”
For many families, the will to fight was rekindled by the end of the conversation. Strength and courage was renewed. These new friendships and the bond these families now share will go a long way in supporting each other and staying the course in the fight for justice.
The families now plan to meet regularly and stay in touch.
IMPD community roundtable
Coming up on March 1, FOX59 and IMPD are inviting the community to a special roundtable to learn more about what happens and what to expect when crime affects you, your family or someone you know. The flyer below contains additional information on the event.