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Indianapolis to beef up police presence on streets

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More than 100 more police officers will be deployed within the next few weeks on Indianapolis' streets to combat a rise in violent crime, under a plan unveiled by the mayor and other city officials.

More police resources are to come. An additional 40 officers will join patrol duty by the end of next year. The Department of Public Safety also will fund two classes of police recruits, containing a total of at least 100 officers, by 2016. Mayor Greg Ballard, Police Chief Rick Hite and Public Safety Director Troy Riggs announced the plan Monday.

“This plan addresses our city’s immediate need for more police officers on the street and our long-range need to be able to pay for it,” Ballard said. “This plan will help lower crime in our neighborhoods.  It will put more police where we need them, on the streets of Indianapolis, and it does so in a fiscally responsible way, meaning we already know how to pay for it.”

The influx of 116 patrol officers within the next few weeks will be made possible by reassigning them from other duties, according to city officials. Some of those positions will be filled by civilians. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department plans to hire 10 civilians by the end of 2013, and another 35 in 2014.

City officials insisted prior to the announcement that the plan was in the works for months before a recent spike in violent crime. The city recorded 16 homicides in June, and a 16-year-old boy died after being shot outside downtown's Circle Centre mall following a Fourth of July fireworks show Thursday night.

Ballard in June vetoed a City-County Council measure to shift $6 million in funds to hire more police officers. At the time, Ballard's office said the city would "release a plan to move 100 officers from desk jobs to the street in a responsible manner that will help reduce crime and does not add to our budget deficit."

The Thursday night shooting at an intersection two blocks south of Monument Circle killed 16-year-old Monquize Edwards of Indianapolis. No other injuries were reported, and no arrests were immediately made.

The violence followed the end of the fireworks show that drew tens of thousands of people downtown, but police Lt. Chris Bailey said the fireworks crowd had largely dispersed by the time the shooting occurred.

He said officers were moving a large crowd of teens away from the mall just before the shooting.

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  • police
    putting more officers on the streets to deter violent crime won't help when it is the police officers who are initiating the violence
  • They have no real parents
    Implement an early curfew and stop the buses after business hours. These kids have no real parents with any level of responsibility, so any demand for parents to step in is misguided.
  • Violence
    A 7:00 p.m. curfew would be a good start to ending youth violence downtown. Kids with their parents or participating in school or church events or working could be exempt. Why not? It has to do some good.
  • Amen to Parents should step up.
    Why do we not see the parents of these young people supervising them. The problems downtown at night are well known, but here are crowds of unsupervised young people clashing in a high profile area. I must ask the parents of any teen who was in the area to look in the mirror if you want to know why this is happening. Nothing will change until the parents who are not raising their children decide to take charge. Good luck to us all..
  • Options
    Has anyone considered installing more lighting in the Circle Center area? I agree additional police would be great, but these young trouble makers would surely think twice if they weren't able to slink away in the dark of night. Every television news story shows the area in almost total darkness. Perhaps the cameras placed around this area would provide a better view if the streets were well lit.
  • Wrong approach
    A better approach would be to eliminate the bus service after 6pm. According to reports, there were cops about 15 feet away when this guy started murdering people. He just didn't care.
  • Ballard
    Actually the news reported today that we are 700 officers short of the national average. Fact is ...this city is just to small to have all these heavily tax supported sports teams and still provide adequate libraries, public safety, schools, etc. The crime boost, deteriorated streets, school closings, teacher layoffs, etc, etc are a result of misdirecting public find to the black holes of pro sports.And remember...Ballard BARELY defeated a very poor quality Demo candidate. He is easily beatable next election if a person of any minimal qualifications will run.
  • Still way below national standards
    And even with those 100, we'll still be around 500 officers short of the national standard for the city's population. Meanwhile, the mayor hands our tax money away in bailouts, gifts, loans, and tax breaks to his campaign donors.
  • Desk jobs
    What does is say that 100 desk jockeys can be moved to the streets? If they can be moved then I have no idea why they weren't on the streets in the first place. That said, I have no idea if this will help a lot. The bottom line is that these "youth" are the products of a failed culture in which those responsible for raising them did not instill the values necessary to be decent members of society. Until we stop subsidizing the ability of society's failures to evade the consequences of their actions, we will have more teens roaming the streets looking for trouble.
    • Former Lifetime Southside Republican
      This Mayor is the biggest poser we have ever scene in this city. He makes stuff up as he goes along. We live in the suburbs and have not had a detective call us back in over a month concerning our daughter and a predator. If you live in the suburbs this police merger was a complete SCAM. At least the Chin community out on Post Road will get a Cricket Stadium. Total Public corruption! Lease parking meters, build A political contributors a soccer stadium,Build A political contributor a PRIVATE Parking Garage with $6 mill in taxpayer $$, build a Bogus Cricket Stadium, Sell of water Company assets and not rebuild streets and sidewalks. Take a look at Stop 11 from Bluff Road to Perry Meridian High School. If you call its not even on the slate to e resurfaced for the next 3 years but this clown has 6 million for a Cricket Stadium? Keep TIF property off the roles. ITs real easy to find the $ for Police. Get em Joe Hogsett
    • solution
      Volunteer police and sherrifs with military background as MP's. Go into the areas of crime, drugs, violence and put in place a local presence, police living in areas of violence to have a presence. Do not allow large masses of youth to congregate at Malls, Shopping centers and without adult supervision. Put metal detectors at all mall entrances, etc., movie theaters and venues.
    • What jobs not being done
      If Indy had 100 police officers doing desk jobs that supposedly were necessary, who is going to do them now? It would be interesting to have a reporter investigate what is not going to be done now that they considered "so important" a police officer had to do it previously. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

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