INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is trying to open up the lines of communication between police and the public.
For about a month, IMPD has been sharing direct phone numbers of detectives at crime scenes to encourage people with information to reach out. This strategy is much different from the norm, where officers told the community to call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS (8477).
Officer William Young says if neighbors have a name and a number, they may be more willing to pick up the phone.
“We wanted to have another vessel or another way for the community to provide us tips. You’ve heard me say before, it’s so important for the community to come forth. You can have that direct contact with that investigator,” Young said.
Some community members are skeptical the change will make much of an impact.
“I don’t think a direct phone number to a detective is really gonna solve much, especially with the volume of crimes that are happening,” Brendan Jay said. “I think it’s kind of a lost cause, to be honest.”
“I’m more likely to call an anonymous tip line than the detective’s direct phone number because then I still keep, like, my identity safe,” Jake Kobza said.
“I would probably email them before I call them,” Vanity Banks said. “I can send an anonymous email to where it would not come back to me. If anything I don’t want anything coming back to my name at all.”
Because the effort is so new, Young says it’s too soon to know for sure how helpful it is. However, he says there have been no complaints from detectives so far.
“We have seen some success with the community and those victims, victims’ families be able to contact those investigators directly,” Young said.
Police say the anonymous tip lines are still important to their investigations and will continue to remain an option.