IMPD chief talks crime solutions after Indy reaches 100 murders for the year

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- It's only late September, but Indianapolis police are already investigating the 100th murder of the year.

Johnny Woods, 34, was shot and killed in downtown Indianapolis overnight.

One hundred criminal homicides at this point in the year actually marks a slight decrease compared to last year, when the city had 110 murders at this time.

Still, the IMPD chief admits the numbers are disappointing.

"It’s unacceptable. It's unacceptable to us and I hope the community feels the same way," said IMPD chief Bryan Roach.

Chief Roach says so far this year the stats show that beat policing, with officers walking around the city’s high crime areas, has led to a decrease in criminal homicides in those neighborhoods.

"Hopefully that will continue to be the trend because what that tells me is that beat policing is effective," said Roach.

Roach plans to continue working with the mayor increasing community outreach by getting out and meeting people in different neighborhoods, as well as putting more resources into combating the drug trade and armed robberies.

"It’s a community problem to solve. The police can’t do it on their own," said Aaron Williams with Peace in the Streets.

Williams, a community activist, says the most important thing that can help cut the city’s violent crime rate is increasing community engagement and breaking the code of silence on the streets.

"You can add 1,000 cops to the street, but if the community doesn’t get involved nothing will change. Nothing will change unless the community demands a change," said Williams.

Last year, Indianapolis set a record with 149 criminal homicides. There were 144 murders the year before that, along with 138 in 2014 and 127 in 2013.

However, in the four years prior from 2009 to 2012, the city didn’t reach 100 criminal homicides for the entire year.

Chief Roach wants to get back to those numbers.

"One hundred is too much but that’s an expectation we can have to be below that number. That was my personal goal to be there at the end of the year," said Roach.

It’s impossible to know how this year will finish, but over the last ten years, during the last three months of the year from October through December, the city has averaged close to 30 murders.