ZIONSVILLE, Ind. — The Zionsville Police Department is working to proactively combat crime through a new initiative.

On Tuesday, the department announced the Strategically Applied Focus and Enforcement (SAFE) unit. The department said this unit is designed to proactively seek out the criminal element and locate and address issues that affect the safety, security, and quality of life of residents.

“These officers will support the work of other ZPD units, including patrol, plus neighboring agencies and task force partners with the overall goal of maintaining a safe community in and around Zionsville,” said Chief Michael Spears. “Our goal with this unit is to decrease property crimes and crimes against persons, making Zionsville an even safer place to live and do work.”

According to the latest data from the National Incident-Based Reporting System, the Zionsville Police Department reported 13 violent crime incidents and 88 property crime incidents in 2020.

The department said the unit’s work will be data-driven, proactive, and precise. Officers will receive specialty training. The unit will be staffed with uniformed and plain clothes officers while under the direction of the Investigations Section at ZPD. The department said officers in this unit will work a flexible schedule to provide the ability to adapt to contemporary crime trends or safety issues.

“The Zionsville Police Department has my full support in establishing this unit,” said Mayor Emily Styron. “As our town continues to grow, this unit will serve us well and support the department’s commitment to providing the highest level of professional police service to the community.”

Captain Drake Sterling with the Zionsville Police Department said the initiative is proactive in nature, addressing issues before they become a need.

“We’re trying to make our investigation section one that is proactive and when we start to see these trends tick upward, we want to get ahead of it,” said Sterling.

Sterling said these issues are out there, and only becoming more prevalent. They want to do this proactively before they have to react to a worse situation.