Indy mayor, police chief hold public safety walk at Lafayette Square Mall

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Chief Bryan Roach continued their efforts to build a safer city.

The two men got together for a public safety walk at Lafayette Square Mall.

The mayor and police chief both admit the safety walk is only one small part of a much larger crime fighting plan. The goal is to get businesses and neighborhoods fully invested in fighting crime.

“This is an opportunity to engage people in their normal everyday life,” explained Roach.

Mayor Joe Hogsett and IMPD Chief Bryan Roach take part in a public safety walk.

Unfortunately, 2018 has gotten off to a violent start with 11 homicides already this year, including five within a one-mile radius of 42nd and Post.

Still, Hogsett promised to implement some new crime fighting strategies to try and cut those numbers in the year ahead.

“We wish we had a magic wand and could make violence stop, but we are putting in steps that will profoundly change the quality of life in our neighborhoods, making them peaceful and safe once again,” said Hogsett.

For example, this month the IMPD partnered with the FBI, the Marion County sheriff’s department and State Police raiding several homes.

Over three days the federal partnership resulted in 92 arrests, 19 firearms seized, as well as meth and heroin.

The chief says that will be the first of many joint operations this year.

IMPD Chief Bryan Roach and Mayor Joe Hogsett tour the Art of Man Barbershop.

“We brought all our law enforcement resources to bear for one week.  We got a lot of guns and arrests.  We know that’s not the total answer, but it’s a piece of it,” said Roach.

“When you’re able to add resources the feds provide, you’re going to see decrease in the level of violence,” said Hogsett.

One old idea that will get a renewed push in 2018 is an expansion of beat policing, with officers walking specific neighborhoods.

“In 2017 in those areas where we deployed beat officers we saw violent crime go down,” said Hogsett.

In the meantime, the public safety walk is meant to illustrate that the mayor and chief can’t improve public safety alone.

Much like last year when the mayor and chief held a series of walks in various high crime neighborhoods, the pair plan to continue this kind of community engagement in the months ahead.

IMPD Public Safety Walk at Lafayette Square Mall.