INDIANAPOLIS -- Community policing is returning to some of the city's most crime challenged neighborhoods.
The city is working on scaling back large zones in favor of small beats.
34th and Illinois is one of the six focus areas in the city. It has the highest rate of mental health incidents in the city, and some of the highest rates of poverty, unemployment and crime. It's one of the areas targeted for community policing.
Bob Moore, who opened a barbershop 13 years ago in the 3300 block of North Illinois, longs for the day when he sees the police walking a beat in the neighborhood.
"I think when you get the neighborhood and the police department working together in unison for the betterment of the community, that would be great," he said.
Metro police would take the current configurations of large policing zones, and begin turning them into smaller patrol areas, much like they had before the city abandoned the beat system nearly a decade ago.
Police will re-introduce community policing, first in the focus areas, the six most crime challenged neighborhoods with only five percent of the population, but thirty percent of the homicides.
The focus areas also had a disproportionate share of non-fatal shootings, including in 2015 at nearly 30 percent.
"We're looking to target areas of town that are really struggling with their quality of life. We're going to make sure they've got officers they know where they can become a part of that community. So, we're going to start looking at some of these areas and go to beats, smaller areas," IMPD Chief Troy Riggs said.
The community policing model was applied last fall to the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood, hit hard by a rash of shootings and homicides, including one that took the life of a 10-year-old child. North District put officers into the area and instituted walking beats. The police engaged with area residents, and to this day, the outreach has become a model for community policing.
MORE | Butler-Tarkington marks 100 days without a homicide | Who killed Deshaun Swanson? | Community torn apart by 10-year-old's death | Child killed after shooting on city's north side; another juvenile among 3 others hurt
IMPD plans to begin rolling it out in April when 75 new police recruits hit the streets.