Community leaders in Indianapolis issue a call for action after deadly start to 2017

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A group of community leaders in Indianapolis issued a call for action Thursday after the deadly start to 2017.

The plea comes as the IMPD continues searching for two killers following a deadly armed robbery inside an east side business.

A growing collection of candles and flowers have been set on the sidewalk outside Jordan’s Fish and Chicken by people saddened after seeing surveillance video of two men with guns drawn jumping the counter and killing two employees during a robbery.

“Anytime we see that loss of life it hurts us.  It hurts the community and we don’t accept it at all,” said Rev. Charles Ellis with Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition.

The year is off to a violent start with three murders in just five days.

That’s why Rev. Ellis, surrounded by a number of community leaders, called on the mayor’s office to invest $5 million in crime prevention groups tying together organizations large and small around the city.

“We need to bring everybody to the table.  We need a true partnership.  We can do this across the city,” said Ellis.

“My prayer is for unity and that everyone come together so we approach this strategically,” said Indiana Black Expo’s Tanya Bell.

While some groups like the Concerned OGs began doing peace walks along Sherman avenue last year,  the Ten Point Coalition has narrowed their focus to just three west side neighborhoods, in part because last year Ten Point operated solely on donations after the mayor eliminated a hundred thousand dollar city investment in the group.

“We are in a public safety crisis and we need to acknowledge that,” said Bell.

Faith leaders also publicly called for more resources to be invested in IMPD’s homicide unit saying too many cases are going unsolved.

IMPD confirms the department had 24 homicide detectives in 2016 to investigate 171 cases.  That’s the same number of detectives as the department had in 2007 when there were 119 homicides.

“We know the detectives that are working are doing a great job, but there are so many murders coming at them.  Maybe we need to add more resources and more detectives,” said Rev. Charles Harrison with the Ten Point Coalition.

IMPD says they do not have any new information to release on this week’s double murder, but once again anyone with information is still asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

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