Indianapolis is working toward permanent surveillance cameras along the canal


INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development (DMD) is working with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) to develop a camera system to increase safety along the Canal Walk.

“We want to make sure that not only are people safe and secure, but the perception that they feel safe and secure,” acknowledged Cailin Ellis, DMD Legacy Property Manager.

Just this week police added a mobile camera near the Colts play place. After the park closes at night, the location has become a safety issue recently.

“Unfortunately, we have been getting some individuals that would come to the play scape, and they were doing things they shouldn’t,” details IMPD Downtown District Commander Phil Burton.

Permanent cameras will be placed near the Indiana Avenue bridge close to Michigan Street, and near the Colts Playspace. The city will have to put WiFi at the canal to operate the cameras.

“Basically, it’s a live feed at all times” explains Ellis.

Just days after a mother, Jessica Doty Whitaker, was shot and killed along the canal, IMPD began placing officers at the canal from 10 PM to 5 AM every night. Police say it was not in direct response to the death, but they have seen a reduction in incidents since the adding those patrols. The extra officers began on July 5 and will extend to the end of the month. Commander Burton says the patrols could continue should the officers be necessary.

“I would think that safety is on the top of all of our mind and conversations,” adds Ellis.

DMD expects to have the camera system in place by Spring of next year.

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