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INDIANAPOLIS — Violence is nothing new to people who live in Indianapolis. The past few years have had record-breaking homicide numbers, and weekends in downtown Indy have become more violent – in some cases, fatal.

“Unfortunately, downtown Indianapolis has been experiencing pretty intense, violent crime for a few years now,” says Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Councilor and Minority Whip, Republican Paul Annee, “that’s no different than many neighborhoods and communities across Marion County.”

Councilor Annee tells WIBC News that downtown Indianapolis is “our crown jewel”, and that record-breaking homicides and other violent crime deter people from coming to the city. Annee says city leaders have spent decades investing and putting forth a vision that attracts people to Indy from across the world.

But violent crime is making it tougher to keep that reputation in good standing. A recent shooting on the Canal Walk left four women hurt. Indianapolis Metro Police say it was two groups of people who had history, and an argument eventually led to both groups drawing their guns.

Annee says IMPD does an extraordinary job in policing Indianapolis, but the city needs to invest more in it’s police force.

“I have asked IMPD if there are any new and creative ways we can employee more officers, particularly as the summer months begin. We’re [city council] working around the clock to try and get new officers recruited and try and retain officers that we have on the force,” says Annee.

A stronger police force is the goal, but Annee says other measures need to be taken from other offices across the city.

“The police department is not the problem [with increasing violent crime],” says Annee, “I think the problem we have today is that we have issues in the prosecutor’s office and in the courts that are letting repeat violent offenders back out on to the streets.”

Annee also recommends you check out the Indianapolis Public Safety Citizens Academy. He says it’s a 12-week course, allowing you to connect with public service and law enforcement agencies in Indianapolis.

Annee explains, “you have a chance to talk with the chiefs, the command staff, the rank and file officers. It’s a very helpful course to really get an understanding of how public safety and law enforcement works in the city.”