INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – An extra set of eyes will be watching you during your next visit to Broad Ripple.
The Department of Homeland Security, City of Indianapolis division, has set up two mobile surveillance cameras in the area.
One is on the corner of Westfield Boulevard and College Avenue, the other is a few blocks east at Winthrop and Broad Ripple Avenue. The cameras were brought in after seven people were shot outside a bar early Saturday morning.
Officials hope the cameras create a safer environment, not only by making people think twice about committing a crime but hopefully catching them in the act if they do.
Tucked away at the Regional Operation Center, dozens of eyes in the sky and a watchful pair in the room keep track of what’s happening around Indianapolis.
“These officers that are working in here now have the capability of communicating directly with the officers on the street,” said Gary Coons, DHS, City of Indianapolis Division, Director.
And there’s one street in particular, Broad Ripple Avenue, that will be getting extra attention thanks to two mobile surveillance cameras.
“I would love it if we had a dozen. I think that would be a great deterrent (to crime),” said Justin McKeand.
He’s the president of the Broad Ripple Village Association and wants his neighborhood’s image restored after a shooting Saturday gave it a black eye.
Seven people were shot. And although dozens of witnesses were around when it happened, police still haven’t arrested their suspect.
“I feel like people always think like if they just get away with it in the moment then they’ll be fine,” said Emma Osborn who was visiting the area with friends. “But those cameras will kind of like inflict the fear that even if you get away with it in the moment there is still someone who can go through there and watch them and catch you like a week later.”
The cameras will operate 24/7 and can be seen from the situation room or on computers out in the field.
Officers can control them, turning them in all directions and zooming in for a closer look. But McKeand hopes this idea is only one of a many to make his neighborhood safer.
“I think that having involved police officers, having involved citizens, you can’t replace that with a video camera,” he said.
McKeand and a committee will discuss those ideas in a meeting Thursday morning with IMPD and the Mayor’s Office.
“I’m looking forward to setting firm guidelines for what we’d like to see and getting a firm commitment from IMPD, the mayor’s office on what they are willing to commit to us. And then also asking them what they expect of our organization,” he said.
McKeand said he has five ideas to make the area safer but wouldn’t go into detail. But he did explain one of them earlier in the week.
McKeand is suggests shutting down Broad Ripple Avenue late at night over the weekend, allowing only police, taxis, and pedestrians on the street. He said that would create more space for people to walk around which he feels would lead to fewer confrontations. Police said the shooting Saturday was sparked by an argument after two men bumped into each other.