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Indianapolis FOP president discusses problem of violence in the city

Posted at 7:58 PM, Jan 02, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — The head of the union that represents police officers in Indianapolis is calling on local leaders to address what he called "surging violence" in the city.

Rick Snyder, the president of the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police," said lives in the city have to matter and people have to say so.

"There must be accountability when you commit an act of violence on another resident or visitor in our community," Snyder said.

Snyder said that accountability isn't there, and that is why many violent offenders end up back on the streets.

"The broken system is letting them out," he said.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department released statistics that showed the total number of homicides in 2019 was down from 2018. However, Snyder and Ten Point Coalition leader Rev. Charles Harrison said that is not enough.

"There is a disconnect between the numbers that are being reported and how people feel in the neighborhoods," Harrison said.

According to the Indianapolis FOP, 153 people have been shot or stabbed in the past two months.

"It is misleading to suggest that because your murder numbers are slightly lower that your overall violence is declining," Snyder said. It is not, and not only is it not declining, it is rapidly rapidly surging."

"We are fortunate based on the number of non-fatal shootings that we did not break another homicide record," Harrison said.

Snyder said there are several things that can be done to address rising violence in the city, but he said the FOP needs cooperation from local leaders.

Snyder made several recommendations to curb violence in the city. He wants to establish a commission on criminal justice outcomes so current bond policies can be reviewed and people accused of violent offenses can stay behind bars.

He also wants the city to look at the juvenile justice system, state mandates with the number of jail beds in Marion County and consider creating a public database to track criminal histories.

RTV6 reached out to the Mayor's office for his response.

"It's clear there is more work to do," Taylor Schaffer, a spokeswoman for Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, said. "Together with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners, we begin 2020 with a continued dedication to making our city a safer place for all."