Broad Ripple merchants, residents request city support in crime-fighting efforts

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Broad Ripple residents and business owners are pressing Indianapolis city officials for more help in what they perceive as a growing public safety crisis.

After a recent weekend in which three separate shootings occurred, the Broad Ripple Village Association began asking the city to bolster crime-fighting efforts. The association said the “injuries, property damage, and risk of lives sustained” warrant the attention of city leaders. 

Just one individual was injured in that trio of shootings, but dozens of shots penetrated the walls of local businesses and homes, Fox 59 reported. More than 90 shell casings were found at the scene of one of the shootings near Guilford Avenue and 64th Street. 

Jordan Dillon, executive director of the Broad Ripple Village Association, said the board and members of the association feel as if they have done all they can do to quell the violence.

“We’re at a point where there has to be some type of infrastructure or policy change to help make sure that Broad Ripple, as one of Indianapolis’ original cultural districts, remains as great of a community as it always has been,” Dillon said.

Crime starts to pick up when the weather starts to get warmer, and it’s “like a different world,” at night, Dillon said. She also said some bad-actor businesses attract likely criminals to the district.

“There are people who are coming into the village because of the scene that is there. The scene that is allowed to happen, and the scene that some establishments tend to bring in,” Dillon told IBJ.

The BRVA values diverse establishments, Dillon said, but wants business owners to recognize when it is time to shift practices in order to protect the community.

On May 9, City-County Councilor John Barth and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers attended the association’s monthly meeting. Barth is not the area’s current councilor but is uncontested in the race to represent the newly-redrawn district in 2024.

Following that meeting, the BRVA brainstormed to come up with potential solutions.

“What we kind of came up with are four specific things that we think could start to make a difference,” Dillon said. “They’re not going to solve it all.”

In a May 15 open letter, the group requested a dedicated, city-sponsored resource to monitor and report on crime occurrences and trends; parking lot security and small business resources; a promotional campaign of public safety measures; and funding for additional proactive measures from IMPD.

City and IMPD representatives say there has been communication with the association on public safety.

The association has meetings scheduled with the Prosecutor’s Office and the Mayor’s Office. Mark Bode, a spokesman for the city and Mayor Joe Hogsett, confirmed that the Mayor’s Office will be meeting with the BRVA.

Bode said in a statement that the city has had regular conversations with BRVA, Broad Ripple stakeholders and councilors about public safety over the past several years. 

“That includes meetings with Mayor Hogsett and deputy mayors, as well as regular touchpoints with IMPD and mayor’s neighborhood advocates,” Bode said in an email.

“The city and IMPD will continue to work in tandem with BRVA and stakeholders on promoting public safety in the area, and are looking forward to the upcoming meeting to find additional opportunities to collaborate.”

William Young, public information officer for IMPD, told IBJ the department had recently stepped up officer patrols in the district to between 15 and 18 officers. On the weekend of May 12-13, IMPD made eight arrests and confiscated multiple firearms, Young said.

The department’s nuisance-abatement unit is working with bar owners to ensure they are compliant with regulations, while off-duty police officers are available to provide additional security paid for by the businesses, Young added.

“We already have officers up here,” Young said. “I just think it’s a blatant disregard for folks knowing how to resolve conflicts without picking up a firearm.”

With Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett in the midst of a run for reelection against Republican Jefferson Shreve, the issue of public safety is increasingly political. 

Following an April shooting that wounded two police IMPD officers, Shreve called on Hogsett to appoint a public safety director—a call that he’s echoed throughout his campaign. Hogsett has dismissed the call, saying the current administration structure includes a deputy mayor of public health and safety and elected officials as heads of public safety agencies.

The Broad Ripple issue isn’t partisan, though. Kip Tew, the former state Democratic party chair, was among the directors who signed the BRVA letter. Tew declined an interview request, instead referring IBJ to Dillon. Tew has previously expressed support for the incumbent mayor.

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34 thoughts on “Broad Ripple merchants, residents request city support in crime-fighting efforts

  1. When the new Broad Ripple fire station is built, the old one ought to be given to the IMPD as a local station that can be staffed 24-7. This would give law enforcement a greater visibility and presence in the heart of the village.

    Of course, they best approach to the problem is for the state to allow the city to adopt stricter gun control measures. It’s clear the legislature’s preference for unlimited firearm ownership, without background checks or permits, is driving the increase in gun use. The state laws are simply insane.

    1. I agree with you that our gun laws are nonsensical: permitting and background checks are essential, common sense measures. And, the current loose regulations help foster a wild-west environment that is quite insane.

      Speaking of a wild-west environment, if we’re going to focus on the actual problem at hand, it’s really quite simple (as nearly all criminal matters are): there are a handful of really crappy bars, run by crappy owners, who attract crappy customers – customers who don’t think twice about randomly shooting into crowds (regardless of the gun laws in place). Remove the nuisance, and the bad actors disappear. Don’t welcome criminals to the neighborhood – arrest them. Don’t coddle and make excuses for moronic bar owners – revoke their licenses.

    2. Why is it so rare that these horrible gun crimes spill over into the suburbs, where regulations are even more lax?

      Why does Chicago, a city with some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, have among the nation’s highest levels of shootings–while 40 miles south Kankakee (no great shakes of a flourishing town) has a fraction the crime rate, despite both cities being equally close to the Indiana state line where guns are readily available?

      Why did Indy’s homicide rate go up nearly 50% during the Hogsett years, even though Hogsett most certainly didn’t relax any gun control measures?

      I don’t like guns and don’t even own one. But I can at least recognize how ludicrous it is to think top-down measures will help. But then, we have a lot of top-down thinkers around here at the IBJ. If “thinkers” is even an apt term.

      Only a very confused person would think that the majority of these random shootings in pedestrian heavy places are taking place from the same people who are taking advantage of permitless carry. The thugs going pow-pow on Broad Ripple Ave would use “permitless carry” even if we had Illinois-style laws.

    3. Michael H. I agree with revoking their licenses, this has been proven fruitful with the Meridian St. bars downtown. When the city revoked Tiki Bobs and Tap and Dolls license, the area immediately got better.

    4. Lauren – you are describing a scoio economic issue and disguising it as veiled racism?

      Indianapolis has one of the lowest socio economic climbing abilities in the country

      If you are born poor and are going to die poor – what is the point of trying to make a better life?

    5. Frankie–

      Do you know the demographics of Kankakee? I deliberately chose it.

      Trotting out the predictable leftist “thinking” that poverty breeds crime, what’s to explain for the sizable amount of white-collar crime conducted by upper-middle class scumbags? I think they should face sizable prison sentences too.

      Do you enjoy watching the collapse of urban America as you rationalize and justify criminal behavior? How much longer can Broad Ripple businesses sustain a high crime rate, let alone downtown?

    6. Lauren – until IMPD does their job we will have nothing to argue about.

      The common denominator is we have never had a more well funded police force who does less.

    7. Frankie – well funded is a gross oversimplification of where funding is actually going for IMPD. The officers that I interact with are working their tales off. Every one of them has the same gripe, the prosecutor’s office loves to let criminals walk. It is catch and release with Ryan Mears.

    8. Legally owned guns and user are not shooting up Broad Ripple.! The people who are shooting up BRV are not punk thugs with little to no adult supervision in there life, so please quit blaming law abiding citizens. To sell a gun legally there is a background check required and is mandatory.
      The increase in gun use has two obvious problems and you might want to change your city leadership to improve the situation for one.

      “If you are born poor and are going to die poor – what is the point of trying to make a better life?”

      JJ if you believe this statement you are bound to succeed! So JJ what have you done to help the police fight crime, with the quantity of shootings and murders they are spread thin and frustrated, “it takes a village”! (Hillary Clinton circa 1995)

    9. Brent B.
      I’ve got a better idea.
      Stop pandering to the social justice warriors.

      Stop with the racial equity and social justice nonsense.
      Prosecute the CRIMINALS.

    10. Broadripple had a violence problem long before the Constitutional right to

    11. Eric R.

      You know what have on South Meridian Street now?? Nothing.
      What was once a thriving entertainment district is nothing now.
      How’s that working out?!

    12. @ Jolf https(colon)//

      Chicago had nearly 700 homicides in 2022. For Indy’s rate to be on par with Chicago’s, it would have to have 228 homicides in 2022. Indy had 226 that year. Almost identical homicide rates despite radically different gun control regs.

      So…is this a flex on your part?

  2. Maybe the focus of the BRVA is wrong. Maybe the problem is something like TOO MANY GUNS available to anybody anywhere? And now with permitless carry, the police have one less tool to use. I’m still not sure how any Indiana Republican law maker can say they’re tough on crime and then in the next move say let’s give criminals easier access to guns and less consequences.

    Studies have shown that states that have permitless carry, have a gradual increase in gun violence that will rise for the next 10 years until it plateau’s about 10% higher than the current level.

    Welcome to the Republican vision of a New America!

  3. This isn’t about gun control. I guarantee the 3 groups of kids that shot the sky up don’t have registered guns.

    This is about bad citizens. The crime isn’t from the Broad Ripple community, they are coming from the west side. I ask the bar owners where the addresses on the IDs left behind at night. Nothing within miles of Broad Ripple. I think IMPD is doing a pretty good job. The focus is now on the bar owners that foster and promote a crowd of folks that don’t care about Broad Ripple or the good proprietors that makes it great. We’re working to make it great. When Broad Ripple Avenue opens again and a flow of traffic rolls through, we’ll be on the way up.

  4. I think most of those who have posted here are way off the mark. Take emotion and bias out of the issue and any reasonable person would conclude as Lauren stated that the issue of permitless carry is not a problem. If you disarm the law abiding citizens, the only people with guns aside from the police, will be the criminals. They do not care about following laws and will always find ways to get guns. I don’t know why so many dismiss this key point. It is reality and that is the world we live in. If you do not want a “wild-west environment, maybe look at the large number of bars catering to the masses. Could that be part of the problem? Is the city government’s apathy towards crime part of the problem? There are have been several shootings on I-465 lately. Do you think the folks who have a gun permit are doing this? I have a permit but have never carried and I know many like myself. The big takeaway needed here is to remember that CRIMINALS DO NOT FOLLOW THE LAW. I guess that is news to some …

    1. Maybe the issue is we have zero routes for success for those who are poor in our city?

      The data shows that if you are born poor in marion county you will die poor.

      We have zero motivation for our citizens to become anything other than criminals as basic opportunities do not exist

    2. JJ Frankie: I won’t disagree that we need more economic opportunity – of course we do. But, I think you’re off the mark in saying there is “zero motivation” for our citizens to become anything other than “criminals”. This is akin to the fallacy of the “root-cause” ideology of crime prevention: the persistent belief among some (unfortunately, our prosecutor and mayor, among others) that we need to solve the alleged “root causes” (poverty, lack of opportunity, lack of educational opportunity, etc.) before we have a meaningful impact on crime. This fallacy ignores the fact that 98% of the poor folk from the same “root causes” demographic do NOT become criminals – they’re the primary victims of the repeat offenders we allow to roam the streets. Focus on behavior – not background. Make an impact immediately (for the betterment of the 98%) by arresting those who violate the law – and get them off the street.

    3. I agree – IMPD should do their damn job instead of having their policy of not leaving their cars and not chasing criminals

    4. JJ Frankie J. why would any cop try to stop these criminals when they will be the ones ending up in jail if they have to shoot back and, god forbid, kill one of these A-holes?

      if I was a cop in this current climate I would never get out of my car. even black cops are being arrested now for doing their jobs. The brilliant “defund the police” policy championed by the left is a BIG PART of this problem.

    5. @ Joe 77% of mass shooting in this country were done by people who purchased guns legally.

    6. IMPD is the opposite of being defunded – they have seen a 145% increase in budget under Hogsett.

      You can’t use national clickbait headlines to discuss intricate local issues.

      IMPD officers should do their job or get new careers. They are being paid almost 2x what a teacher makes, act like it a public servant or leave.

    7. @Joe Then why do other countries not have these problems? No Republican ever answers this rationally lol. If you take emotion and bias out of the issue, any reasonable person would conclude America’s lack of gun regulation is the problem. There needs to be a national background check and gun registration system. If you are caught with an unregistered gun, I think a 10 year minimum sentence seems fair for the first strike. Assault weapons need to be banned, and anyone who owns one needs to be required to sell it back to the government for what they paid. 10 year prison sentences seem appropriate if you break that law too. Amending the 2nd amendment isn’t some impossible process. There’s my completely unemotional argument.

  5. A very simple solution that would make an immediate impact is to shut down Connor’s Pub and the Red Room. Get rid of those two “establishments” and a lot of these bad actors will not have bars to hang out in. And there definitely needs to be more a police presence to monitor the thugs that just congregate in parking lots in BR.

    1. Michael Q.
      Shutting down those two bars will NOT solve the problem.

      The bad actors will simply migrate to other establishments.

    1. in America*

      it works everywhere else, but it cannot work here**

      America is a magical rainbow unicorn*

  6. The city better things under control and stop pandering to the social justice
    warriors that care more about the criminals than the victims.

    Investments will dry up and people will move out.

  7. Bad bar owners= Bad bar customers Does this happen on Mass Ave ?
    Close the damn bars at 1AM then swatch em scatter to other bar areas with their guns

  8. A lot of the problems rest solely on the landlords, whose greed has negatively impacted the charm Broad Ripple once had. So many landlords either raised the rent so high local shops were forced out in favor of nigh clubs or for some reason, they find it beneficial to let their buildings sit empty….

  9. A good start is ENFORCING CURRENT LAWS. Police can gather all the thugs up in a basket but if the Prosecutor refuses to prosecute and courts allow zero cash bail nothing will work. Deny this at your own risk. Most of the current criminals and those
    involved in both sides of homicides are out on no or low bail for previous offenses.

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