INDIANAPOLIS — Two IMPD officers suffer minor injuries after breaking up a suspected drug deal on Lugar Plaza. The officers are okay and arrested two people for possession of a controlled substance.
City officials just added Lugar Plaza patrols to IMPD’s responsibilities on August 1. In 10 days, we have learned IMPD’s made 25 arrests on Lugar Plaza and the area surrounding the City-County Building downtown. IMPD said those incidents have all been isolated.
The incident happened around 11:00 a.m. Wednesday. Officers noticed two people making a transaction in a suspected drug deal.
Public Information Officer Genae Cook said the pair became combative and the two responding officers suffered minor injuries. They were treated by medical staff.
They arrested the pair and charged them with possession of a controlled substance.
Frank Coleman, Refuge Place Indy District Elder, offers food, resources and other items with his team each night on Lugar Plaza.
“This is a life I wouldn’t wish on anybody,” Coleman said. “We do it cause we feel blessed that. It could be any one of us. I mean literally, it could be any one of us.”
Not everyone spending time on the plaza is homeless, but for those who are, Coleman refers to them as “friends.” He said many of them have deep-rooted issues.
“Those that want to be out here, every one of them that we’ve identified has a mental condition,” Colemans said. “You have people that are alcoholics, you have people that are on drugs. You have some of the same things that you have anywhere in society, but these out here have found no way out.”
Included in Mayor Joe Hogsett’s 2022 budget proposal is $30 million for mental health programming, $6 million for hunger relief, $250,000 for domestic violence reduction initiatives and $12 million to build a city-run shelter or encampment. Coleman is cautiously optimistic about the changes the funding could bring.
“I think all the proposed solutions are wonderful, they just don’t hit the street,” Coleman said. “The money has to be put in places where it’s going to do the best work.”
IMPD took over security responsibility on August 1 after a contract expired between the city and the building authority to use Rowley Security as a vendor. IMPD is being paid overtime to provide officers to Lugar Plaza at dedicated hours 7 days a week.