INDIANAPOLIS — Every person deserves to feel safe in their own home. That’s the message IMPD officers and the Indianapolis Housing Agency’s executive director shared with neighbors during the first ever “Grill and Chill” event.
As children returned home to the Blackburn Terrace community from their last day at school for the year, they were met with a cookout and games provided by IMPD and IHA. Indianapolis Colts running back Nyheim Hines also made a guest appearance at the event.
“I’m really just trying to make a big impact on the community and leave a legacy here,” Hines said. “That’s really what brought me out here.”
Blackburn Terrace, on the northeast side, is surrounded by hotspots of crime. But neighbors, police and housing leadership are hoping to change that.
“I mean, if this is all they grow up in, ducking and dodging bullet fire, or gunfire in the evenings, what type of impression does that give them when they go into adulthood?” executive director John Hall said.
In April, three people were killed in less than a week on the same street where the housing community is located. On Saturday, another person was shot and killed nearby at 38th and Keystone. It is unacceptable, and IMPD’s North District Commander Michael Wolley hopes his officers can partner with neighbors for solutions.
“There’s somethings that they’re seeing that we may not see,” Wolley said. “We’ve got data, right? But sometimes the most important piece is what the people are seeing and what they feel.”
Hall said he hopes residents in IHA communities will call police and their public safety department if they notice anything suspicious so IHA can follow up.
“I need to be held accountable, and I’m going to be proactive in making sure I use them in the betterment of our communities.”