INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — City leaders and IMPD officers announced a new plan to spend millions of dollars to add more cameras and license plate readers around the city, and test a new gunshot detection system.
“This is a force multiplier,” IMPD Asst. Chief Chris Bailey said. “Some people say some studies show one camera can replace four officers because it’s always there. It’s always watching something.”
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 spoke to residents from east side to west about the technology enhancements for the department. Some told us they welcome the cameras in their communities, especially if it increases their chances of getting justice.
Della Brown, an east side resident, tells us her brother was stabbed multiple times at the intersection of 10th & Rural.
“If they would have had the cameras, maybe we could have identified those individuals and got some closure with that,” Brown said.
Community member and advocate Ron Gee hopes cameras could prevent hit & runs, or help solve these crimes.
“So many people have lost their lives, lost their loved ones to somebody recklessly speeding down the street and murdering them, killing them, so if we did have cameras for those reasons, I’m definitely for that,” Gee said.
The city currently has about two dozen stationary license plate readers around the community. But, the funding from the American Rescue Plan will afford additional LPRs, hundreds more public safety cameras and the pilot program for the gunshot detection technology.
“We are not involved in any of these new initiatives, but we can see how they will be necessary and how they can work,” Henri Gaither, President of Haughville Strong Neighborhood Association, said.
Gaither and Haughville’s longtime business owner Jason Ward hope the new technology is placed in their community.
“People in this area over here, the people are tired,” Ward said. “They want to take their neighborhood back; they’re shouting it and they mean it.”
Technology is merely one part of the solution to the complex problem of violence. Advocates said it also takes all of us to become a safer city.
“We’re out here pushing Cease Fire Weekend,” Gee said. “Unity in the city. We’re calling everybody to refrain from violence for 72 hours.”
The Ceasefire Weekend is happening Halloween Weekend, October 29-31. Organizers have several peace rallies, neighborhood clean-ups and other activities planned.
For more information, contact organizers Della Brown at 317-350-3006 and Ron Gee at 317-778-1694.