IMPD, Simon to begin discussing ways to curb teen violence at Circle Centre

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Downtown Indianapolis has become a safer place in recent years, but when shoppers, out of town visitors and police officers get caught up in the raucous youth behavior like this last Saturday night, it’s a cause for ongoing concern.

Do you feel safe in downtown Indianapolis?

“Right now it seems pretty safe to me,” said Franklin Johnson, visitor to the city. “I don’t see any reason to be in fear of anything.”

Last Saturday night was the second Saturday this month when east side teens fought with police and accosted downtown visitors.

All of the 13 people arrested were young males between the ages of 14 and 19. The charges included disorderly conduct, resisting law enforcement, rioting and battery with injury on a police officer.

One police report read like the makings of a mini riot. A large, unruly crowd of 50-75 juveniles was intimidating visitors to Indianapolis.

The top command of IMPD takes this seriously. For the past two weeks, they’ve been meeting with Simon Properties, ministers, IndyGo, a city county councilor and Indianapolis Downtown Inc. to find a solution to the unruly brawling youth downtown before the weather gets warm. That’s when school is out and they’re afraid it will get worse.

Ideas include:

  • Better control over the buses and a bus stop servicing teenagers
  • A tougher weekend curfew
  • More structured events for kids and families downtown
  • More social media monitoring
  • An adult escort policy for teens inside Circle Centre
  • Better radio communication with Simon security
  • More police officers inside the mall

City County Councilman Vop Osli told Fox59 it’s time to pursue new ideas, not simply repeat what’s been done in the past. He wants to come up with plans that will be sustained and not just go away after the kids leave in a couple weeks.

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