INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is fighting crime not just with officers, but also with the community. Through roll call events, they’re getting the community involved. They held two events Tuesday.
The goal is to have a presence in the community, especially those with high crime rates. The idea is eventually, the community will feel comfortable with police. It’s a strategy, that according to IMPD Chief Troy Riggs, is starting to pay off.
“It was a very cool vibe. It was awesome. They spoke to everybody. They were nice. They’re helping. They’re here,” said Eleea Hooten, who attended one event.
It’s more than just officers stopping by for the afternoon. It’s one step toward building a trusting relationship between the community and police.
“When you have a relationship with someone and you’re in need, you’re more likely to reach out to them,” said Chief Riggs.
A comfortable setting free from crime tape, sirens and blue and red lights, it’s all part of a strategy. Riggs said it’s already starting to pay off.
“Unfortunately, last week we had a double homicide in an area of town. We went to that area, and walked door-to-door, talked to residents. The very next day those residents called with a tip that led to the arrest of four individuals,” he said.
Over the last nine months, IMPD has participated in more and more community events. They plan to continue. Both of Tuesday’s events were held on the east side. One at the Amber Woods Apartments off of Mitthoeffer Road near 30th Street.
“It’s also very close to where we had an officer shot about a year ago. Since then, we’ve seen more and more citizens really outreaching to the police department, supporting the police, calling with tips. That’s what we need long-term if we want to make sure that we have a city that sees lower crime rates,” explained Riggs.
It’s a goal neighbors are on board with. “It’s just crazy nowadays. You never know what’s going to happen. It’s good to keep yourself busy. The police, they’re doing a good job at what they’re doing. I think it’s definitely helping,” said Hooten.
Police are still searching for more suspects in that double homicide on Gladstone Avenue. If you have any information that could help in this investigation, call Crime Stoppers at 262-TIPS.