Police working with downtown businesses to address employee safety

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) —¬†Police are hoping to work with businesses in downtown Indianapolis to talk about employee safety after a recent crime.

It happened last weekend in the mall’s parking garage on South Meridian Street.

According to a police report, the 22-year-old woman left work very late at Punch Bowl Social. She told police she was in her car waiting in line to leave the parking garage when several people approached her car.

She told police they pulled her out of the car and began hitting her. Police said she went back to the bar and restaurant and called for help. A police report shows she had minor injuries.

“People are always concerned when it’s late at night,” said Emma Reinhardt, general manager of Claddagh Irish Pub downtown.

The recent battery case is alarming to hear for people working at restaurants and bars in downtown Indianapolis.

“You know, you want the staff to be able to come in and feel comfortable when they leave their shifts to be able to walk to their cars,” Reinhardt said. “I think it’s really important that people who are working downtown, they’re proud to work downtown and they enjoy it and they have fun, that they feel safe when they’re doing so.”

Every weekend you can find officers doing heavy patrols in the downtown area.

“We as the police want to make it safe for people because nobody wants to go anywhere that it’s not safe. And the bars, they want people to come down and not be afraid of coming downtown or coming to their establishments,” said IMPD Officer Jeffery Patterson.

Patterson is the community resource officer for the downtown district.

“We had a meeting with a bunch of the bars, especially on the Meridian Corridor expressing the fact that this has to be a team effort to get rid of the violence,” Patterson said.

Patterson added that the district is now offering new programs, like how civilians can respond to an active shooter situation, how to be more aware of your surroundings, and learning about self defense.

“Downtown district is offering all three of those programs for busineses and anybody downtown and the classes are free,” he said.

Patterson said he’s also talking with businesses about starting a Downtown Safety Network: a group made up of bars, restaurants, and hotels working together to educate and talk about safety.

“We’re coming up with ways that the police department and the bars can work together to start a handle of some of the violence that’s been going on,” Patterson said.

If you’re interested in the program’s please call IMPD downtown district at (317) 327-6500.

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