INDIANAPOLIS – A gas station on the east side of Indianapolis has joined IMPD’s B-Link program following a string of summer homicides.
The program allows the department to live stream video from certain cameras installed at a business. The Emerson Food Mart and Shell gas station just joined the program and installed three B-Link cameras on the property.
“We will do everything on our end to make sure this place is safe for all of our customers and for the community,” owner Gurpreet Malhi said.
The gas station, located off 34th and Emerson, was the home to a string of summer homicides. Back in July, the gas station experienced its fourth deadly shooting in four months.
“It’s very painful when anything of this nature happens and not only at this place but anywhere else,” Mahli said.
After 15 years of business, Mahli said the shootings have left a lasting scar.
“First of all, my heart goes to the victims, to the families and to their communities,” he said. “But also as a business owner, we also are the victim to this violence. Nobody wants these violent incidents to occur on their property.”
This is why Mahli wanted to join the B-Link program, which will essentially allow IMPD officers to watch over the gas station in real-time.
“It adds a layer of security for them,” said Lt. Shane Foley with IMPD. “It adds an opportunity for our officers and our detectives to combat crime and to identify those people involved in criminal activity. While they’ve had incidents in the past, we’re hopeful this effort will help make the area safer.”
IMPD said 76 businesses are part of the program, providing police with more than 100 camera angles. IMPD did not have exact specifics on whether businesses with the cameras have seen a crime reduction, but the department did say it has helped with investigations.
“We’ve seen a number of crimes, whether it be thefts or all the way up to homicides, have been solved as a result of businesses or residential cameras,” Foley said.
Over at the Shell on Emerson and 34th, Mahli said he is hopeful of the effort.
“I’m very positive,” he said. “I think it was and it will once again be a very safe place.”
Mahli said he is already looking to get more IMPD signs posted outside his store and additional cameras as well. Each business that is a part of the program must have at least two linked cameras. Mahli currently has three B-Link cameras at his store.
Businesses in the Circle City can click here if they are interested in signing up for the B-Link program.