INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis Department of Homeland Security plans to add more surveillance cameras around Broad Ripple Avenue.
The idea comes after a shooting happened over the 4th of July weekend in the popular nightlife neighborhood. Seven people were shot, sparking several safety changes.
Now, when people look toward the sky downtown, there’s a chance somebody is looking back.
“We have folks that watch it, pretty much all the time,” said Mike Bates, Deputy Chief of the Indianapolis Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) IMPD division, referencing the security cameras.
The IDHS keeps watch on more than 100 of them across the city, but only one of them gives them a bird’s eye view of Broad Ripple Avenue.
“It makes me feel a lot safer,” said Broad Ripple resident Vaughn Barnett.
Deputy Chief Bates said the camera pans east and west down Broad Ripple Avenue, but even with it’s those capabilities, city leaders learned one might not be enough after the 4th of July weekend shooting.
“We want people to be safe up there, come up and have a good time with no issues,” said Bates.
Two mobile surveillance cameras were set up days after the shooting, but they were only temporary. One was at the intersection of Broad Ripple Avenue and College Avenue, another was a few blocks east at Broad Ripple Avenue and Winthrop Avenue.
Those cameras have since been removed, but the IDHS wants to put permanent cameras in the same spots. The only issue right now is funding.
Just one can cost $5,000-10,000, money that’s not readily available in the city’s budget according to Bates.
“That’s why I think it’s so important that we get the private, public partnership together and I think that’s going to be successful,” he said.
The Broad Ripple Village Association plans to help pay for them. It’s been raising money through a GoFundMe page to pay for safety improvements including increased lighting, security, and surveillance cameras.
But not everyone likes the idea of paying out of pocket for safety changes.
One man commented on the page saying “I pay state and Marion county taxes, this a joke.”
“I actually wouldn’t mind (paying),” said Anya Sichuga of Indianapolis.
“I think that if everyone works together for the common goal, it can be achieved,” added Barnett. “And we could do this by everyone just pitching in a little bit more. I don’t have a problem with that.”
IDHS Deputy Chief Mike Bates said the two sides haven’t decided how much each partner would pay to fund the cameras, but he did say once purchased they would take about a month to install.
The Village Association’s fundraising page has collected more than $1,000, and the organizations president said its also received $3,000 in matching donations.
That money though will be used to pay for security officers. They would help shut down the avenue late at night on weekends – allowing the IMPD’s officers to focus on patrolling Broad Ripple Avenue.