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IMPD: Crime on the rise in Broad Ripple Village, community hosts town hall to discuss

IMPD asks for partnerships to beef up virtual policing
BR Bucks Damage Gun.jpg
Posted at 6:18 PM, Jun 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-14 06:50:11-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Broad Ripple businesses and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department say crime has gotten worse within the past few months.

"We've had more violence and shootings here in Broad Ripple just in the past six months than we've had in the last seven or eight years," Geoff Hufford said.

Hufford works at Warleigh's Barber Shop on Broad Ripple Avenue.

He said during the day, Broad Ripple is calm but at night it's becoming a different story.

"Most of the trouble tends to come from that [Guilford] intersection," Hufford said.

Around 2 a.m. on Monday, a shootout happened just outside Lava Lounge Bar, according to police.

On Saturday morning, a Starbucks employee says she walked in and found a bullet lodged in the front door, shattering the glass.

It's now boarded up.

"There has been an uptick in violence, shots fired, incidents, fights and those sort of things have been trending upward in the last couple of weeks in Broad Ripple," Commander Michael Wolley said.

IMPD Commander Michael Wolley said this new wave of violence is concerning.

"So, Monday my team is out walking seeing what we can do talk to store owners and some of the bars and have conversations with them. Monday night we are going to have a Town Hall hearing their concerns," Wolley said.

He points to downtown Indianapolis bars closing as one possible cause of this rise in gun violence.

On Monday night a town hall meeting was held with the Broad Ripple Village Association, local businesses, residents and IMPD coming together to search for answers.

Wolley told WRTV prior, that he planned to ask the association for a partnership to help crack down on crime through virtual policing.

"We are really going to be pushing our B-LINK Indy and B-LINK Pro," Wolley said. These programs place cameras on businesses for real-time viewing and monitoring.

At the meeting, Wolley talked about the uptick in violence IMPD is noticing and how B-Link can be the answer while IMPD is short-staffed by around 200 officers currently.

"We're trying to create sort of an infrastructure like downtown," Wolley said. "Where there are a lot of cameras with different views. We hope to use those cameras to sort of solve some of the issues that we are seeing."

Wolley said the department has always had a plan for Broad Ripple's bar district. It started back in 2014 with an uptick in robberies in the area. He said at that time they added eight patrol officers, but what they are seeing now is a national trend in bar districts in major cities.  

"I think I have to look at things relatively subjectively as I compare it to other parts of the district," Wolley said."It's not seeing the violence as other areas are. However, we want to be proactive and get in front of it. And ultimately, if the community feels unsafe or if they feel concerns, we want to do our best to address it."

Executive Director of the Broad Ripple Village Association Jordan Dillon was happy with the turnout and thanked them for joining in the goal of ending violent crime.

"We're not open to violent criminals or anyone who believes violence has a place in our village. Frankly, I know a lot of us are just sick of it," said Dillon. "It starts tonight by you guys showing up tonight saying enough is enough."

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