IMPD chief discusses record-breaking year for murders and shootings in Indianapolis, looks ahead to 2022

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INDIANAPOLIS —  2021 has been a record-breaking year for violent crime in Indianapolis.  For the second year in a row, the city shattered its all-time homicide record.

Moving into 2022, IMPD’s chief says the public needs to play a role in reducing the violence. Police believe a dispute between family erupted in gunfire at an apartment complex on Meridian Hills Court Thursday night.

The shooting left one man dead on a sidewalk.  A second victim died after being rushed to the hospital.

One of those victims hid behind a bullet-riddled car.  Their death increased the record-breaking number of homicides this year to 271.

2020 ended the year with 245 homicides. There were 172 homicides for all of 2019.

“Most of this makes no sense whatsoever,” said IMPD Chief Randal Taylor.

Taylor admits 2021 has been a difficult year. If you combine homicides and non-fatal shootings, more than 1,000 people were shot in Indianapolis this year.

“I can put an officer on every street, but if someone is determined to shoot someone for some ridiculous reason, it’s probably going to happen,” said Taylor.

Looking ahead to 2022, the city plans to add hundreds of public safety cameras and license plate readers in high-crime areas, as well as implement a pilot program for a gunshot detection system.

Still, the chief points out technology alone won’t save lives.

“Yeah, technology will help us get to places quicker and might identify people who commit violence and get them off the streets, but I’d rather you decide not to pull triggers and pull knives,” said Taylor.

That’s why organizers with Cease Fire Indy are asking everyone to do their part and celebrate the start of the new year responsibly, without gunfire or violence for 72 hours.

“We all have a part. It’s not just police officers. It’s everyone. Every resident in Indianapolis, we all have a part,” said Della Brown with Cease Fire Indy.

“This is not a police only issue,” said Taylor. “People have got to be held accountable for their own actions.”

On Thursday the mayor issued a statement which read in part:

To meet the local impact of the national surge in homicides and non-fatal shootings, Mayor Hogsett announced record-breaking levels of funding to power a multi-pronged violence prevention plan in Indianapolis. Most notable was the direction of $150 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds towards law enforcement and root causes of violence over the next three years, including:

  • 100 new IMPD officer positions to expand neighborhood-based beat policing;
  • $9 million in modern policing technologies, including a gunshot detection pilot, license plate readers, and public safety cameras;
  • Hiring 50 professional community-based Peacemakers who are trained to assist police in preventing conflicts in situations that the police believe could lead to violence and an increase in annual grants to organizations focused on anti-crime initiatives, from $3 million to $15 million per year;
  • $30 million for mental health programming, as well as additional resources for job training, food access, and more.

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