INDIANAPOLIS — Fewer people were murdered in Indianapolis last year than the year before when homicide numbers broke previous records.
“Criminal homicides were down about 15% in 2022, that was our goal, ten percent, and we met that goal,” said IMPD Assistant Chief Chris Bailey. “We think that is a good legitimate area we can sustain.”
Robberies were down by more than eleven percent and all violent crime dropped by more than four percent in 2022.
“We want to continue to push homicides and non-fatal shootings down by 10 percent going into 2023,” said Bailey.
To do that, Metro Police will continue going after the most dangerous known felons and trigger pullers in the year to come, but also pay more attention to the locations around the city where crime often occurs.
Like the 2900 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street.
“There’s been a lot of shootings. There’s been a lot of shots fired and it stems from a lot of the criminal activity that takes place at this corner,” said Rev. Charles Harrison of the Ten Point Coalition whose church is a five-minute walk from the corner. “A lot of drug trafficking takes place at 29th and MLK and a lot of other criminal activities.”
During our interview, three IMPD patrol cars passed through the intersection at midday.
“We have seen a much larger presence of IMPD officers particularly during the hours when we have the most trouble,” said Harrison. “We have seen much less activity taking place, particularly at nighttime and we have seen far less shootings because of the strong presence.”
Harrison also noted the increased police presence at West 38th and North Illinois Streets near a fast food restaurant/gas station/convenience store that has been the site of several robberies and shootings.
“We don’t see near the traffic that we once seen there,” he said. “I would say it’s been an 80% reduction.”
IMPD has been troubled by a slew of motels stretching from East 21st Street north on Shadeland Avenue where several murders have occurred as recently as this past weekend.
“We see time and time again issues with hotels and motels throughout the city that don’t want to cooperate with the police or direct their people from cooperating with police,” said Bailey, “and we have bad things that happen in those facilities, so we will continue to move ahead within the law to hold those business operators accountable for what they do.”
Bailey said IMPD will partner with the City Prosecutor, Business and Neighborhood Services and Nuisance Abatement investigators to pressure those businesses to follow the rules along with more State Excise Police who have been assigned to Indianapolis to help enforce liquor laws in Marion County.
In the months ahead, IMPD will meet with residents to ask neighbors what they see as public safety priorities for their communities.
Bailey said the Indiana Crime Guns Task Force will also add two more agencies to its 12-member group and Allen County is seeking to expand the firearms investigation concept to the South Bend area.