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INDIANAPOLIS–Transparency helps create trust. Trust helps reduce crime. That’s the philosophy by which the Indianapolis Metro Police Dept. is operating in their efforts to reduce violence, after several record years of killings in the capital city.

“We believe that listening to our community is policing them in a way that they feel is equitable, and at the same time will help us reduce crime,” said Kendale Adams, deputy chief for Oversight, Audit and Performance, in a video released by IMPD.

“Yes, adding more police officers is certainly an important element in any crime reduction effort. But, it’s equally important to have trust and legitimacy,” he said. “When communities say, when neighborhoods say, we’re not gonna allow this kind of behavior to happen in this neighborhood and they tell police and police solve those crimes, that’s how you build the transparency and legitimacy and that’s ultimately how you reduce crime.”

Adams said the current administration has tried hard to build trust in several ways.

“Since Chief Taylor has been named chief (Jan. 2020), we now release officer’s names that are involved in officer-involved shootings within five days,” he said. Adams said the department also maintains an online dashboard to display all of the information about an incident.

He said the department has invested $10 million in body cams.

“That was something the community wanted. It’s certainly something police officers wanted, too. But, it was something certainly the community called for and demanded for and we’re happy to have them,” said Adams. “It helps when people can see an unbiased recording.”

Adams said that body cams, while they offer that unbiased video, are just one tool in building trust, and officers still have to work hard on building relationships.

He said that district commanders now also have the option of sharing information with people in the community, on a confidential basis, some information that may not be generally known. Those “intimate conversations” are meant to build trust.

The statistics from 2020 say violent crime is up and Indianapolis had record numbers for the first years of Chief Taylor’s administration.

Adams and the department will stay the course, according to the video released Friday, and continue in the trust-building methodology so that people will share information with cops. The hope is that the formula is correct. Legitimacy, transparency, trust and finally less crime and fewer murders.