INDIANAPOLIS — Leaders with Indianapolis Metro Police and faith-based leaders walked together in an east side neighborhood of the city where violence has been an issue over the last year.
The goal of the walks was to build relationships with people who live there and to build trust so that residents will be more helpful and forth-coming in trying to solve future crimes.
“Part of what we have to do is we have to stay connected with the community,” said IMPD Chief Randal Taylor. “They are our biggest asset in solving some of these crimes.”
The neighborhood is also serving as a pilot area for the use of gunshot detection equipment, which uses sensors to pinpoint the exact location of gunshots. It’s part of the $150 million the city is spending on crime prevention using American Rescue Plan money.
Brookside Community Church pastor Charles Neal said that gunshot sensors, as well as the effort being put in by police officers to build relationships, are going a long way toward building trust.
“They’re welcomed back to a meeting place where they can begin to have those difficult conversations of ‘how do we lay down the guns? How do we settle conflict,” Neal said. “Having those conversations … just being visible in the city lowers down the distrust that people have.”