INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Public safety is a top issue for Indianapolis voters. In less than a week from now, they will vote for mayor.
Within the past 24 hours, four people were shot. But, neighbors in these areas, who live among crime every day, have a lot to say.
“People are afraid and people are concerned,” Pastor James Jackson said. “What we need is a sustained effort.”
Pastor Jackson is leading the Fervent Prayer Church on E. 38th Street, just as he has for years.
“It appears to me when one mayor goes out, a new mayor comes in, there’s a new plan,” Jackson said. “There are new relationships that have to be built.”
He tells FOX59 he wishes city leaders would commit to continuing plans for public safety that are working.
“No matter who are in those leadership positions, that the effort can be sustained whether that’s with preventing crime, reducing crime, including homicides, or even quality education, those kinds of things,” Jackson said.
He said sustainability is not only important for the person in the mayor’s role, but it’s also crucial for IMPD as well.
“Our commanders do well for IMPD and then they get promoted, we get new people and we have to continue to build,” Jackson said. He adds that he really appreciates the people leading the district he serves.
Those relationships between police and community are not instant, they take time and commitment, he said.
“A few years ago, when homicides were trending under 100, that was born out of close-knit relationships with law enforcement and people living in the community sharing information,” Jackson explained.
Jackson said as the election approaches, he hopes candidates will make an effort to talk to voters in his neighborhood where public safety is an issue.
“The candidates really, in the home stretch, need to spend as much time talking to people in the community centers, daycares, the churches,” Jackson said.
Pastor Chad Temple with the Caring Place has also served neighbors on the East Side for decades.
“If we actually live by the concept do to someone else what you want them to do to you, not what they did to you, but do to them what you want them to do to you, then I’m telling you 99 percent of our problems would be gone,” Temple said.
Temple said he believes the neighborhood cannot rise above the issues if the city’s leadership and other organizations refuse to put their egos aside.
“Somebody who wants to make sure they’re known, and everyone knows who they are and the power they have, well then you’re not going to get anything done,” Temple said.
Both Temple and Jackson said voters in their area are energized and plan on going to the polls on Tuesday. They added it will be a surprise to them who ultimately wins the election based on what people in their neighborhoods are saying.