More officers assigned to patrol as Summer nears

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Law enforcement agencies around Indianapolis are working on a plan to tackle violence as Summer approaches.

“No matter where you are in this nation, you aren’t doing your job if you aren’t getting ready for the summer,” said Troy Riggs, Indianapolis Public Safety Director.

Riggs said their Violent Crime Review Team will meet for the first time this week. The team will look into putting together a plan for this Summer and for 2014.

“Right now, just looking at homicide numbers, they’re up somewhat overall. Part 1 crimes (are) down (by) 10 percent, which is a good thing. But, we have to look at the violence that we are seeing earlier this year and make sure it doesn’t continue in the Summer,” Riggs said.

Riggs said people need to have honest discussions, in order to work on reducing crime. He said a comprehensive plan needs to be implemented.

“The great thing about Indianapolis is we have all these major events that come to our city. We try to learn from each one and make sure they’re (as) safe as possible. We are going to be there in large presence,” Riggs said.

Part of the plan includes, moving about 100 officers to patrol. IMPD Chief Rick Hite will decide where those officers will go and when. He will make that decision during the next month and a half. Hite will also decide whether some officers will be assigned to special Summer initiatives.

“You’re always worried about the Summer, whenever you are in public safety, because that’s when a lot of your homicides occur. There (are) more people going downtown, more people involved throughout this community. So, you want to make sure that you have a plan ready,” Riggs said.

Riggs said they plan to work with organizers this summer. Those organizers are in charge of some of the major events in our city. He said he is pretty confident most of them have a good plan already in place.

Minister Shelley Covington is the president of UNWA (the United NorthWest Area,Inc.). Her neighborhood association is in an area officials identified as having high crime. She said she would like to see more done.

“I would like to see increased police patrols. I’d like to see  community support from our politicians and I’d like to see increased programming in place so that our young people have something to do,” she said.

Covington said it will take everyone to make a difference.

“Everybody (has) to come to the table and everybody has to have some kind of positive input as to how we’re going to turn this thing around and get the crime numbers down and the positive up,” Covington said.

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