Bloomington police boost downtown patrols after complaints

Bloomington police officers gather downtown for roll call in Peoples Park. (Provided Photo/Herald-Times)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Officials are increasing police patrols in downtown Bloomington following complaints about criminal activity, aggressive panhandling and drug abuse by the city’s homeless population.

Twenty officers started their afternoon shifts with a roll call last week at Peoples Park about a block from the Indiana University campus. A police lieutenant told the officers to have “zero tolerance” for alcohol, drugs and fighting in the park.

Police Chief Mike Diekhoff tells 24-Hour News 8’s partner paper The Herald-Times that the department has a responsibility to keep the area safe for everyone.

A city task force recommended additional police patrols and is preparing a report for Mayor John Hamilton.

Some city parking enforcement officers also are looking for suspicious behavior, and the city has hired four IU police officers to boost downtown patrols.

Never miss another Facebook post from WISH-TV