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Outgoing public safety director sees improvement in Indy’s most violent neighborhoods

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 21, 2015) - Public Safety Director Troy Riggs hopes the efforts to reduce crime in the city's most violent neighborhoods will continue long after he leaves his job later this month. Under his leadership, the department identified six focus areas based on crime data and other quality of life factors.

Riggs said he is seeing signs of improvement in those target neighborhoods but stresses any long-term changes will take time.

According to DPS figures, homicide numbers are down slightly in the focus areas but shootings are up city-wide. Statistics also show a 595% greater likelihood of a homicide in those areas, which cover about eight square miles in the city.

Focus areas

Focus areas

"Shootings the last 27 days have been up, we're monitoring that most likely we're going to end the year fewer homicides this year than we had last year but don't be surprised if we have more homicides or a greater percentage of the homicides occurring in the six areas," said Riggs.

Riggs said he is encouraged because tips to Crime Stoppers are up more than 30% in just one year.

The city is relying on partnerships with 31 different agencies and organizations to combat crime. The Shepherd Community Center has stepped up near the New York and Sherman focus area.

Community center staff implemented a program called the Shalom project and hired an IMPD officer. The neighborhood officer was the first to arrive at the scene of a double shooting Monday morning.

"I think relationships and trust take a long time and I think we're starting to see small progress along those lines specifically and as multiple partners start to engage I think that just grows that progress exponentially," said Andrew Green, Chief Program Officer with the Shepherd Community Center.