IN Focus: Indianapolis entering federal public safety partnership

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the creation of a National Public Safety Partnership to combat violent crime on Tuesday.

The plan includes 12 cities that are joining the Department of Justice’s new partnership. Indianapolis is on the list.

The announcement comes during the opening session of a national summit. IMPD Chief Brian Roach and U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler are at the summit this week organized by the Attorney General’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety.

In a statement, Attorney General Sessions said:

“Turning back the recent troubling increase in violent crime in our country is a top priority of the Department of Justice and the Trump Administration, as we work to fulfill the President’s promise to make America safe again. The Department of Justice will work with American cities suffering from serious violent crime problems. There is no doubt that there are many strategies that are proven to reduce crime. Our new National Public Safety Partnership program will help these communities build up their own capacity to fight crime, by making use of data-driven, evidence-based strategies tailored to specific local concerns, and by drawing upon the expertise and resources of our Department.”

The initiative comes in part from an executive order signed by President Trump charging the department of justice with developing a plan to combat violent crime.

Former IMPD Chief Troy Riggs said he began working with the Department of Justice two years ago on this issue. He said this is the first step in targeting the economic concerns plaguing some communities most in need.

“When people are desperate, sometimes they turn to dependency issues, heroin, narcotics, or they become violent and it leads to crime,” said Riggs, the current Vice President for the Sagamore Institute.

IMPD reports for 2017, so far, there were 56 criminal homicides. Riggs said Indy is already on the right track to combat violence. He said many other cities on the list are using Indy as a model for their own programs.

“I think Indianapolis is one of the reasons they moved forward. It’s just good policing and you have to have that good relationship between the local authorities and the federal authorities,” he said.

The 12 cities on the list include;

  • Birmingham, Alabama
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Toledo, Ohio
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Buffalo, New York
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Houston, Texas
  • Jackson, Tennessee
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Lansing, Michigan
  • Springfield, Illinois

The Department of Justice said they plan to announce additional cities later this year.

Click here to see the full release from the DOJ.