Is recent crime hurting Indy’s image?

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis’ recent spate of violent crime is becoming national news.

The CBS Evening News recently ran a story that blamed the city’s increased crime rate on guns and heroin. And the added negative attention has residents concerned.

“People want a place that’s safe, and if they don’t feel safe then they won’t come,” said Joyce Johnson, an Indianapolis resident.

The city has logged more than 75 murders this year. Per capita, that murder rate is higher than New York City’s.

“It has escalated, and that is what is so frightening and disturbing,” said Johnson.

There’s an increase in gun violence as well. In one weekend, seven people were injured in a shooting in Broad Ripple, and IMPD Officer Perry Renn was gunned down on the city’s east side. It’s left leaders in Indianapolis and on Capitol Hill trying to figure out what to do next.

“All of us have a stake in solving this issue and addressing this issue,” said Sen. Dan Coats. “And if we do it as a community and not just point a finger and say, ‘Throw more cops on the street.’ Yeah, we need to put more people in uniform, but we also need to say, ‘How can I help with this?’”

But officials with Visit Indy, the city’s marketing arm, say the uptick in crime hasn’t had an immediate impact on attracting outsiders.

“We don’t feel that in the long term this will have any negative backlash,” said Chris Gahl, the VP of Marketing for Visit Indy. “Now having said that, if this were to continue for some reason, sure, certainly that could have implications.”

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