INDIANAPOLIS--Adding license plate readers and cameras may not be the end-all solution to the violent crime problem in Indianapolis, but the leaders of the Indianapolis Metro Police Dept. believe it will help catch some of the bad guys. The cameras and new technology are part of IMPD’s priorities for 2022, presented in a news conference Monday.
“We added ten new automated license plate readers to the downtown area just before the national championship, as well as updating existing camera infrastructure downtown with technology that hasn’t been replaced prior to the Super Bowl in 2012,” said IMPD assistant chief Chris Bailey.
LISTEN: Part of the Plan (IMPD News Conference)
More cameras and readers are expected to be added in other parts of the city. Bailey echoed the words of both Mayor Joe Hogsett and Chief Randal Taylor, in saying that public safety and fighting the violence that increased in 2020 and 2021, are the top priorities.
“Every officer, every detective on this police department, everything they do needs to be focused around reducing violent crime,” said Bailey.
Hogsett said he is confident that plans for further community involvement will help their efforts.
“IMPD will hold town halls in all six police districts, while continuing to consult with the public on future locations of public safety cameras and license plate readers,” said Hogsett.
Right now the plans are to put up the cameras and readers where violence and traffic fatalities are happening most.
Bailey stressed the need to continue to help people who need mental heakth checks and keep them out of the system.
“We have nine teams of clinicians and officers in the streets, helping those that are in crisis, diverting them from the jail as much as possible, and the criminal justice system,” he said.
Bailey said that of the nearly one thousand people helped last year by those teams, more than nine out of ten were helped without going to jail.
Bailey also said that recruiting is a top priority for the department to “fill every hole in our agency with a man or woman dedicated to serving the citizens and the public of Indianapoli8s”.
Taylor said the data shows similar efforts last year and the year before are having some effect.
“Our homicide numbers are down 35 percent, compared to this time last year. As of this morning, our non-fatal shooting numbers are also down 40 percent from last year,” he said.
Taylor partially credited witnesses who have come forward lately, helping put people away in some violent crimes.
“If we have any success it’s not just going to be the IMPD. But, that partnership that we have with the community appears to be paying off.”