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Indianapolis FOP takes message of city's crime to state lawmakers

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Posted at 5:23 PM, Jan 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-07 19:35:06-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Rick Snyder, the President of the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police, took his message of alarm to state lawmakers Tuesday morning as he testified in front of the Senate Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law.

In 2019, Indianapolis finished with the first year-over-year drop in homicides from 2018. But Snyder said the past 60 days (which includes part of 2020) show a pattern of crime that, if extrapolated to an entire year, would break records in Indianapolis.

“If we maintain this current rate of violence for a 12-month period, we would have 742 people shot, 278 people stabbed, and 191 of our fellow neighbors murdered,” Snyder said. “All of which are significantly higher than the record levels we have already experienced in the past four years.”

On Monday, Snyder and the Ten Point Coalition had a private meeting with Gov. Eric Holcomb about crime.

But why discuss this local issue with state lawmakers? What does a senator from Fort Wayne have to do with the violence in Indianapolis? Snyder said Indianapolis’ problems are also the state’s problems.

“As our capital city goes, so goes our state,” he said. “We are seeing that throughout our state. … I just learned when I walked in the door we had two more people stabbed in Hope, Indiana.”

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office said the incident was a domestic situation, with a 77-year-old suspect in custody.

Snyder said the violence in the state shows a “broken system of criminal justice."

Snyder said it’s too easy for many criminals to get out of jail and commit more crimes on the streets.

He is requesting state and local commissions to focus on the following issues:

  • Public review and discussion of the low bonds ”Catch and Release” Criminal Justice system (specifically for repeat convicted offenders)
  • Every arrestee intake should be reviewed by a judge
  • Address deficiencies and lack of accountability for violators in Juvenile Justice System
  • Relief from State on the HEA1006 prisoner mandate that takes up disproportionate number of local jail beds leading to many of these issues for adult arrestees
  • Establish a database to track criminal histories focusing on prior convictions and dispositions of prior criminal cases for every suspect and victim of homicide, non-fatal shootings, stabbings and other aggravated assaults