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City of Indianapolis credits violence reduction strategy to falling crime rates

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Posted at 6:40 PM, Jan 04, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-04 19:25:08-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis continues to focus on reducing gun violence and slowing down violent crime. The city is now in its third year of the $150 million violence reduction strategy.

“In its first two years, this strategy has accompanied a total 31% reduction in criminal homicides and a 20% reduction in non-fatal shootings,” Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said.

In a press release sent to WRTV, the city said in 2023, Indianapolis saw a decrease of nearly 19% in criminal homicides compared to 2022.

The city also said non-fatal shootings decreased by 7.3% compared to the previous year, robberies declined by 4.3% and aggravated assaults fell by 6.5%. Total crime decreased by 7.4% compared to 2022.

“We know that our work is far from over. There is still plenty to do,” IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said.

The goal of the violence reduction plan is to stop violence before it happens.

The city has committed funds to addressing the root cause of violent crime, including increasing access to mental health services, funding for the Peacemakers and Indy Peace Fellowship programs and Indianapolis’ first-ever clinician-led 911 response team.

“What this team did in early September is they said, 'Hey for the last several years, October has been our worst month in the year, let's have a plan,'” David Muhammad, with the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, said.

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That plan resulted in 16 Criminal Homicides in 2023, down from 29 in 2022.

“Put the guns down and find other ways to solve the conflict to whatever the issue might be. It’s not worth it, people are losing their life,” Danyae Brandon said.

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Brandon’s fiancé, Brandon Sanchez, was shot and killed in late July. His loved ones know how violence can impact a person.

“These last five months have been so difficult trying to adjust to holidays and birthdays without him. His youngest daughter just turned one on New Year’s. She doesn’t even know,” Brandon said.

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The city’s effort in reducing violent crime is to make sure families don’t feel the same pain Brandon does.

“I just wish people would be aware of what’s going on in the city," Brandon said. "It’s not fair for people to lose their lives and be taken aware from their friends, family and kids. Everybody deserves to live."