Indy officials meet to talk about new solutions to crime

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Some of the city's biggest leaders in public safety met Wednesday to talk about a plan to target rising crime and poverty in the city.

Mayor Joe Hogsett held a news conference, joined by IMPD Chief Troy Riggs and U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler.

The three met with various local public safety leaders, as well as the FBI, ATF, DEA, and U.S. Marshals, in a series of meetings Wednesday afternoon.

"It’s now time to take all these things we’ve been working on and put them into motion," Riggs said.

It has been seven months since the new guard took over in City Hall, and they reflected on the work they say they're doing to embrace new initiatives. Those include focuses on crime prevention and a data-driven approach to policing championed by Riggs.

"I want Indianapolis to be the standard that other cities look to for answers to these vexing problems," Hogsett said.

"I’ve been doing this for 22 years and I certainly see signs that things are being tried that are new, that are different," Minkler said.

July has been a dangerous and deadly month in the city. Homicides are up, and Riggs attributed it in part to the fact that more officers were off the street working large summer events.

"We had two weeks in June where we didn’t have a homicide at all, then we show up and we get to July and we’re averaging one per day or one every other day early on," Riggs said.

New numbers show that homicides are on track with recent years and non-fatal shootings are up, at the highest level in four years.

On that point, Hogsett did offer another solution, saying he and fellow Mayors would like the state legislature to lift its ban on local gun control laws.

"As Mayors, we are held accountable and responsible for the gun violence in our cities," Hogsett said.

The group also pointed to targeted crackdowns on offenders, and the way in which statistics can help pinpoint trouble areas.

"We believe that two individuals, two out of 900,000 residents of this community, are responsible for committing more than 10 percent of the homicides," Riggs said.

Both of those individuals are in custody. Riggs also addressed violence against police officers, saying assaults are up and reflecting on the attacks in Dallas and Baton Rouge. He said officers are being re-trained on safety tactics not only at work, but also at home.

"You cannot change decades of systemic issues overnight. It’s going to take a consistent and persistent effort not only by this police department, by this community," Riggs said.

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