IMPD, community groups working to combat crime

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Recent violence comes less than a week after the announcement of a new city-wide anti-violence plan.

Monday, IMPD leaders said they would deploy some of the officers you see at special events such as the Indianapolis 500, to hotspot areas when they’re not covering events.

IMPD also has some help; some groups are quietly working on their own prevention.

Inside Victory Tabernacle Apostolic Church Monday night, near Belmont and 10th Street, a group learned from IMPD officers about gangs and drugs. It’s a weekly gathering, but this week they asked IMPD to come speak.

“Our main thing is to preach prevention. I think this is a very relevant message for our youth, because it’s [violence] a common thing to see on TV or movies. We’re trying to prove you can prevent that lifestyle,” said Troy Pepper, a youth leader at Victory Tabernacle Apostolic Church.

An important message, especially after a weekend full of violence across the city: multiple shootings, four people dead.

Lt. Michael Elder with IMPD Covert Operations says, in many cases, it’s about lifestyle choices.

“If you’re not using drugs, not selling drugs, not in a gang, the chances of you being a victim of a violence dramatically drop,” said Lt. Elder. “Our hope is that we can make arrests before they do violent acts,” added Elder. “We’re always talking to homicide, they’re asking our help, we’re asking for their help. It’s a communication thing: it’s a team.”

He says the fact IMPD is redeploying nearly 30 motorcycle officers to help in hotspot areas when they’re not covering events across the city, will help as well.

“The more police you have in the area, the more they’re patrolling, the better shot they have of stopping that car that’s bringing that large amount of narcotics in.”

But he adds, it’s those in the community who often know what’s going on. Perhaps the most important way of preventing crime in your neighborhood: being proactive, like that church group, and speaking up, when needed.

“If you think something is wrong, it probably is: call Crime Stoppers,” he said.

Lt. Elder says he’s seen an increase in heroin and marijuana on the streets of Indianapolis.

Officers stressed at the presentation at that church it’s up to parents to watch what their kids are doing, whether it’s with social media, or their friends. You’ve got to get involved.

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