INDIANAPOLIS — A plan to upgrade technology to combat violent crime was unveiled Friday by Indianapolis city leaders.
The announcement came after a deadly shooting Thursday night on Eugene Street marked the 208th homicide of the year. That is a record breaking murder pace the mayor hopes to change by modernizing the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
“The reasons we are adding these tools is simple. We are experiencing an unacceptable level of violence,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Such an unprecedented time calls for an unprecedented response.”
The mayor’s plan is to add hundreds of additional license plate readers and public safety cameras in high crime and heavily traveled areas to help officers solve and prevent crimes.
“It’s a force multiplier. There’s only so many cops in this city. This city is 350 square miles. We have 1,743 authorized and trained cops,” said IMPD Assistant Chief Chris Bailey. “Some people say and some studies show one camera can replace four officers, because it’s always there. It’s always watching something.”
Right now, Indianapolis has around two dozen stationary license plate readers along with eight mobile readers in squad cars. The city also has nearly 200 public safety cameras.
So far, the locations for new cameras have not yet been determined.
“These tools will bring down crime in Indianapolis, and that’s what we’re looking for,” said IMPD Chief Randal Taylor.
“We have a problem with people cooperating with investigations. The cameras aren’t afraid to testify in court,” said Bailey.
“This technology is not a solve-all. It isn’t the only solution. It’s merely an additional tool in the toolbox to combat violent crime,” said Indy FOP President Rick Snyder.
The plan also calls for implementing a pilot program for a gunfire detection system. That will alert officers to the sound of shots fired and allow a rapid response. The pilot system will be tested over four to five square miles but can be expanded if it proves successful.
“Will it prevent crime? It will through intervention. Will it stop all crime? No, but it will play a key factor,” said Snyder.
“There’s estimates between 50 and 90% of shots fired are not reported to police. What this technology does is automatically notifies officers in the area there’s been gunshots and pinpoints where the shots were coming from,” explained Bailey.
This technology was made available by the City-County Council’s passage of American Rescue Plan Act funding.
The technology improvements will cost 9 million dollars over the next three years.
In addition to the technology, millions more will be spent on community anti-violence groups, expanded mental health resources and adding 100 officers to IMPD.