INDIANAPOLIS — Even though all crimes aren't predictable, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Randal Taylor is no stranger to urging Hoosiers to speak and say something when they have information that could solve or prevent a violent crime.
"Certainly, we shouldn't be thinking that all these murders are acceptable and if we know something about then I think we've got a responsibility to ourselves and the rest of our community to say things about it," Taylor said.
Whether it's a street crime, domestic violence or workplace violence, including last week's mass shooting at a FedEx Ground facility on the city's west side, Taylor said tips from the community have proven to make a difference in battling Indy's problem with violence.
"The community has done a fantastic job. It's reacting as well, but from the standpoint of giving us information that we need to make those arrest the community has hit home runs and grand slams," Taylor said.
While speaking out and sending tips has made a difference in some of Indy's recent homicide cases, it was not enough to prevent the FedEx Mass Shooting after the shooter's own family reached out to law enforcement with their concerns.
"Even if Mr. Hole had been identified on the Red Flag law, it's certainly a barrier to keep people from getting weapons but I don't know, no one knows what he would have done. Would he have circumvented that," Taylor said.
Taylor explained he understood how people could lose faith in the duty of speaking up when tragedy still occurs. He's urging Hoosiers not to let disappointment lead to discouragement.
"If you don't make the effort, then there's no chance, right? If you make the effort and it didn't work, at least you made the effort," Taylor said.
A TIP FROM A MENTAL HEALTH EXPERT
Reporting the suspicious or concerning activity of a loved one can be difficult for people who don't want to cause trouble in their families or face retaliation, but mental health experts say there are ways to avoid that issue.
David Berman, Vice President with Mental Health America of Indiana suggests giving your identity when reporting a concern is not required and, in some cases, not even important. He said the purpose of reporting a potential violent act is about saving lives. Who reports it doesn't really matter.
"You can always make an anonymous call, you can do that anonymous tip whether it's to a school because you suspect something might happen with your child, or whether it's to law enforcement or whether it's to DCS. In some way shape or form there's a way that you can communicate the risk that there might be without directly getting involved where fingers might be pointed at you," Berman said.
Berman adds reporting concerns that someone may harm themselves or others will become even easier next year when the federal 988 emergency hotline will be up and running as a sister system to 911.