Indianapolis launches first witness assistance program

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- There are hundreds of unsolved murders and killers still walk the streets.  After reports that families were not talking to police, many of those families and friends contacted FOX59 saying there was more to the story.

The families say they are talking to police and furthermore, some people with information are being intimidated into not talking.

FOX59 set a meeting with new IMPD Chief Troy Riggs and got the conversation going. Immediately after that meeting, we started seeing results.

"Because of those conversations with them and other crime victims we made a third assistant chief," said Chief Riggs.

Now, there's a new witness assistance program that offers protection to people with information on crimes, but are afraid to talk.

It's another game changer and this is a major solution that will help IMPD detectives solve crimes and most importantly help protect the people and neighborhoods most closely affected by those crimes.

Julie Fidler is a housing and services specialist for the Department of Public Safety. She got with the prosecutor's officer, an IMPD detective and the faith community. They got funding and just launched Indy's first ever witness assistance program.

"It's a matter of life and death in some of these cases,” said Fidler.

It's another step forward and another too to help solve crime and reduce the fear of crime.

"If they go back to some of these unsolved cases and somebody`s willing to talk were willing to help get them out of the neighborhood or get other resources if that's what they need," said Fidler.

It could have made all the difference for Jacqueline Beasley.  Her son was killed in 2014 and the people who initially stepped up to talk to detectives were beaten up and their house was broken into. The witness assistance program now gives new hope for justice to Jacqueline and so many other families waiting for murders of loved ones to be solved.

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