Indianapolis steps up efforts to make city safer after two years of record breaking violence

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — At 45 murders for the year, the murder rate in Indianapolis is on track for being record-breaking for the second year in a row. Officials are trying to step up their efforts to make the city safer.

Indianapolis is now getting help from local, state and federal law enforcement to combat the problem. It’s something one local woman wishes could’ve been in place two weeks ago.

45 murders and 164 non fatal shootings for 2017 in Indianapolis. For Kala Klein, those aren’t just numbers.

“He didn’t want to die. He didn’t have to die. Somebody made that choice for him. And it shouldn’t have been made for him at all,” Klein cried.

24-Hour News 8 talked to Klein on FaceTime about her brother. 31-year-old Kobi Walden was shot and killed two weeks ago. His body was found in a wooded area near his apartment at the Southport Crossing complex near Southport. Police still have not identified a suspect.

“Losing my brother has been the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. He was my best friend. I talked to him daily and having two weeks go by without speaking to him, its tearing me apart,” said Klein.

This type of senseless violent crime, police say has been increasing; especially among the youth. During a news conference on Monday, Mayor Joe Hogsett and IMPD Chief Bryan Roach announced plans to bring together law enforcement from local, state and federal agencies to form the Indianapolis Violence Reduction Partnership. It’s a partnership that existed in the 1990s, but was phased out.

“Back then, just like today, those leaders recognized the need for a united front to better combat rising crime,” said Mayor Hogsett.

The group will meet every two weeks. They’ll share resources, analyze violent crime data, and implement strategies to make the community safer. Chief Roach says it was a plan that drastically reduced crime in the ’90s and he expects it to do the same.

“I hope this puts fear in them. Enough to where they stop,” Chief Roach said.

It’s a hope that comes too late to bring Walden back, but Klein stands behind it.

“If you want Indianapolis to be a safer city, to he a better city, to be a better community, you have to speak up,” Klein said.

Klein wants those who might’ve witnessed anything out of the ordinary, to speak up. If you saw any suspicious people, cars or usual activity contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS with information. There is a $1,000 reward and you can remain anonymous.

A page has been setup to help cover burial expenses for Walden. If you are interested in donating, click here.

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