INDIANAPOLIS–Indy must take steps to stop the violence, said Rick Snyder, the president of Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 86, in a Thursday news conference. He said you should not be fooled because fewer people were murdered this year. Violence is actually increasing.
“It is misleading to suggest that because your murder numbers are slightly lower, that violence is declining,” he said. The number of non-fatal shootings increased by 29 over last year, from 489 to 518, said Snyder, citing data kept by the police department.
Snyder called for the City-County Council to start a database of the criminal history for every suspect, and victim of homicides, murders, non-fatal shootings and stabbings. The goal is to better track who is committing crimes, what their history is, why they are doing it and who’s accountable, in many cases, for their being out of jail or prison, despite their history of violence.
He also said the state legislature and the governor should do something about the mandate that requires local jails, like Marion County’s lockup, to house state prisoners.
“We are in the midst of a perfect storm of an overburdened criminal justice system that’s compounded by a mental health crisis and an opioid epidemic.”
The overcrowding has forced Marion County to release people on home ankle bracelet monitoring, which they sometimes cut off and ditch, then commit more violent crimes.
Snyder said he does not blame the mayor or former police chief Bryan Roach, but he believes it’s time for the mayor and the new chief to publicly express outrage.
“The mayor is a good man. I consider him a friend. We supported him in his re-election efforts. That’s why it’s so important for people to hear us publicly say we have to hear from him,” said Snyder. “Our outgoing chief, he wanted to avoid having an emotional response. I would suggest to you, that’s what we need right now is a little bit of emotion, when our babies, our women, our young men are being murdered!”
Snyder said the violence is also happening in places around the city where it is not typical and is spilling over into other communities.
“Greenwood and Carmel and Greenfield and Avon. They should be asking themselves, why do I care about this? Here’s the answer: It’s coming to a neighborhood near you. In fact, it’s already there.”
Snyder said he hopes to host a gathering of law enforcement from surrounding areas soon, to address the spread of Indy’s violence.
PHOTO: Chris Davis/Emmis
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