Business owner eager to bring new safety ideas to Broad Ripple

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The public has a chance to weigh in on ways to make Broad Ripple feel safer. The Broad Ripple Village Association organized a forum for people to share ideas on Wednesday.

Some changes have already been made, such as shutting down Broad Ripple Avenue late at night on weekends to only police and taxis, but that was decided by city leaders and the BRVA.

Finding the right cut isn’t the only topic of conversation stylist Jennifer Barker shares with clients at Bambu Salon.

“I just get so tired of seeing negative publicity,” she said.

Not for her business, but her neighborhood. A shooting over Fourth of July weekend sent seven people to the hospital, hitting the popular nightlife spot with a black eye.

“Seeing that police tape, anytime you see it, it reminds you of things that you see on TV that you know, is kind of the underbelly that you don’t want around your home or your business,” said Barker.

The city doesn’t want it there either. Mobile surveillance cameras were set up within a week of the shooting, as well as closing down the street on weekends late at night.

The BRVA even started its own fundraising page to pay for safety ideas like adding more lighting.

“I do think lighting plays an important part of keeping things safe,” said Barker.

She even made $100 donation to the page to prove it. But besides money, the BRVA wants people like Barker to donate ideas at a public forum it’s hosting at Northminster Presbyterian Church.

“We got five or six areas of concern and our goal is to come away with two or three actionable ideas for every area of concern,” said Justin McKeand, BRVA President.

Lighting, loitering and crowd control are just a few of those concerns.

“I hear some really good ideas behind my chair,” said Barker. And she plans to share those and a few of her own at the forum.

“When people come forward and express their views, their opinions, a collaboration is what’s going to hopefully bring some sort of solutions to light,” she said.

A few other concerns that will be brought up on Wednesday include graffiti and gang activity. One reason the BRVA wants to hear from the public is because not all of the changes the city made are permanent.

The mobile surveillance cameras mentioned earlier are no longer in Broad Ripple. We reached out to the Indianapolis Department of Homeland Security to find out why they’re gone and if they made a difference, but our calls were not returned.

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