IMPD officers help families in need through ‘Operation New Normal’

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It appeared  a raid was in progress near Gladstone and New York Street Tuesday. Squad cars were parked along the streets, and a large group of officers were going door to door.

The officers, however, were not there to make any arrests. Instead, the goal of their visit was to help those in need.

The sweep targeted New York, Michigan, Grant, and the Linwood area on the city’s near east side. IMPD complied statistics of neighborhoods that had a high rate in poverty and social disorders, and the Linwood community ranked the highest.

Gleaners provided food for 400 families. Each family was given a meal that can feed a family of four for a week. Coats for children were handed out, and the group also provided free flu shots, assistance with finding jobs, and utility assistance. Also, residents got a chance to take advantage of free health care clinics, and there was a free shuttle service for those needing medical attention.

“I need this like I need a million dollars,” said Sherry Baker who waited in line for food.

Santa Claus passed out gifts to children. Some of those gifts were provided by 24-Hour News 8’s WISH Tree through generous donation from viewers.

Flyers were mailed out to residents who live in the Linwood area before the giveaway happened.

The officers who went door-to-door were under strict instructions not to look for citations, but to look for ways to offer help to those in need.

“I’m not concerned if your car is parked in the street, I’m concerned if you need help putting food on the table,” said Lt. Brian Churchill.

The group plans to do another sweep in the near future, at another location. A date has not been set.