Drugs, guns seized with summer crime prevention plan

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) –  Thursday, IMPD and Mayor Ballard announced details of a summer crime-reduction plan, involving partnerships with a number of agencies.

The plan incorporates different tactics, like impromptu sweeps for wanted criminals, the use of data to target troubled neighborhoods, and also focusing on what happens after the violence: setting up community meetings in areas where crimes are happening.

IMPD’s Southwest District’s summer initiative task force started in May.

They’re taking four to five officers off their usual patrol every month, and letting them target high crime areas to work to get felons and illegal guns off the streets.

Thursday evening, 24-Hour News 8’s cameras were along to see exactly how that piece of the plan is being put into action.

“We want to reduce violent crime by identifying people, looking for guns, drugs, people wanted on warrants, to try to put them in jail, and keep them off the streets,” explained Officer Brian Thorla, as he patrolled for the summer task force for the Southwest District.

Thorla stopped a few drivers for minor traffic violations, then he tried to pull over another.

“I’ve got a vehicle refusing to stop, at 12th and Winfield, heading westbound,” said Thorla.

He dictated the chase on his radio, until the car stopped – and a passenger jumped out.

“He’s got a gun, he’s got a gun,” Thorla relayed on radio. “Units use caution, he had a gun in his right hand.”

Full-time SWAT was on scene quickly, also because of the summer initiative. Officers quickly started searching for the suspect with K9 units, who found evidence on the ground – likely, they say, heroin, the suspect may have thrown.

Officers quickly found the suspect in a nearby garage, and searched for the gun he had when he fled.

“This is exactly what we’re aiming to do. We’re aiming to interdict felons, while we’re on the street before they can get anywhere and commit crimes,” said Sgt. Charles Tice.

That was just one run for officers.

Since May 12, Southwest District officers on the Summer Task Force have made 407 traffic stops. They’ve made 36 felony arrests, and 22 misdemeanor arrests. They’ve served 26 felony warrants, and 24 misdemeanor warrants. They’ve seized 9 guns, and $2100 dollars.

They also have confiscated heroin, meth, pills, and marijuana.

“When he got out of the car, he had a gun… The more we are out and interdict these crimes, the safer the city is going to be,” added Tice.

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