INDIANAPOLIS -- After a recent uptick in violence that culminated in three shootings overnight Saturday, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Marion County Sheriff's Office are increasing patrols in those districts that have been most affected by the violence.
The two law enforcement agencies held a joint press conference Saturday afternoon to discuss their plans going forward.
The prompt for the press conference was the combination of a fatal shooting on the city's east side, four people shot in a parking garage downtown and a shooting on the city's west side, all within a few hours of each other in the early Saturday morning hours.
“We want to send a message that we won’t tolerate that illegally possession guns or using guns is the answer," said IMPD Chief Bryan Roach.
Roach described his experience with the business owners and community members who have had to deal with the recent violence.
“People are fed up and disgusted about the way certain people have decided to handle their lives and the conflict that surrounds them,” said Chief Roach
Chief Roach outlined three things the department will be doing going forward:
- Effective immediately, increased manpower in designated areas around the city, concentrated on places that have seen a recent uptick in violence
- Commanders in districts have been given approval to staff the way they need to in accordance with the volume of issues
- New initiative within investigations division to increase collaboration across individual units to better identify issues before they happen
IMPD Deputy Chief Chad Knecht spoke about the collaborative efforts that will be strengthened going forward between IMPD and the Marion County Sheriff's Office that would lead to increased patrols.
"We'll have cops everywhere you can possibly imagine," said Knecht.
Knecht said in addition to an increase in foot patrols, bike patrols and horse patrols you'll see, there are going to be "officers you don't see," undercover officers in crowds and buildings.
IMPD said that while downtown is a main focal point because of the large crowds it draws, extra patrols will be deployed in all neighborhoods where issues need to be addressed.
Major Mike Hubbs with the Marion County Sheriff's Office echoed the sentiment.
“There is no more important partnership than the one with IMPD," Major Hubbs said.
Major Hubbs said there will be more than 30 sheriff’s deputies assigned to IMPD to assist with their efforts downtown, and that the extra effort will continue throughout the summer in all neighborhoods that need it.
“The level of violence and the use of violence to resolve conflicts in Indianapolis is unacceptable," Deputy Chief Knecht said.
Deputy Chief Knecht said it's a very small percentage of people who are causing the violence in the city of Indianapolis. He said the department will be leveraging technology more than ever to catch criminals, monitoring public and private camera feeds and utilizing "every technology available", even mentioning a UAV (an unmanned aerial vehicle).
Chief Roach said the department has been collaborating closely with downtown businesses about which people shouldn't be in a bar or which people might be known to cause trouble and to deny access to their establishment.
IMPD also addressed officer behavior, and stated strongly that the department was going to get more serious about potential criminal activity.
“We’re going to be the police. We’re going enforce the law,” Deputy Chief Knecht said.
Chief Roach backed that up, specifically mentioning officer behavior.
“We’ve tried to communicate to our officers that it’s OK to be the police,” Chief Roach said.
Chief Roach closed the press conference with a plea for those who know someone who is engaging in criminal activity to come forward and "have courage to reach out" to law enforcement.
As always, if you have any information on any criminal activity, call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS or your IMPD district HQ.