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Indianapolis investing in new technology as part of anti-violence efforts

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Posted at 2:12 PM, Oct 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 19:10:16-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The mayor is making what he says is the largest anti-crime investment in the history of Indianapolis. Millions are going toward new technology.

One of the new pieces of technology is what’s called a gunshot detection system. WRTV drove to Cincinnati last month, which has this system, to show you firsthand what it’s like and how it’s helping curb crime there. City leaders here in Indianapolis are hoping it will do the same.

“Such an unprecedented time calls for an unprecedented response,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett.

With the increased violence this year, city leaders are boosting anti-violence efforts by more than $150 million over a three-year period. The funding will go toward community anti-violence groups, mental health resources, an additional 100 IMPD officers, and $9 million to updates in technology funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.

That includes additional license plate readers that can quickly scan plates to locate vehicles or determine if they’ve been used in a recent crime, additional public safety cameras across the city, and the newest technology tool for the city: a gunshot detection system.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department currently has about 24 stationary license plate readers and eight mobile license plate readers that are used throughout the city on marked police cars.

“There’s only so many cops in the city,” said Assistant Chief Chris Bailey. “The city is 350 square miles. We have a 1,743 authorized trained cops. One-hundred more if we’re able to get to 1,843. You can’t possibly be everywhere. This is a force multiplier. Some people say in some studies that one camera in a neighborhood can replace four officers because it’s always there, it’s always watching something.”

As part of a pilot program, gunshot detection censors will be placed around the city and immediately notify police the location when they hear gunfire, so they can respond quicker and obtain evidence.

“We have a problem in our city with people cooperating with investigations,” said Bailey. “We have a problem with people being scared to testify in court. The cameras aren’t afraid to testify in court. We have multiple incidents with cameras that have helped us solve cases to prevent another witness from having to step foot in a court room and put themselves in danger by testifying.”

“We have a lot of gunshot problems in our neighborhood so I like that idea,” said Tina Graham. “I think anything that is used to make things better in our neighborhood is great.”

Tina Graham is the crime watch captain for Mars Hill. She says the crime she’s seeing now in her neighborhood is not like what it used to be. She says criminals these days aren’t afraid to fire off a gun because they aren’t getting caught or prosecuted.

“Cameras are great, plate leaders are great,” she said. “But is that really going to help them make a case? And if it does, then yay. Bring it on. Put one on every corner.”

“Be assured that this is the right move for Indianapolis and we expect to see great results because of that,” said Chief Randal Taylor.

IMPD has not yet decided where these gunshot detection censors or cameras will be placed. We will keep you updated as more develops.