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Social distancing and restrictions on public gathering amid the Coronavirus pandemic have done little to quell violent crime in the city of Indianapolis, according to Fraternal Order of the Police President Rick Snyder.

“We’ve seen a dramatic spike in the number of stabbings over the course of the last two weeks,” Synder told WIBC’s Hammer and Nigel. “In fact, 42% of the aggravated assaults involving weapons over the last two weeks have involved a knife or some type of edged weapon. That’s a 17% increase in the trends we saw prior to the onset of all this with the Coronavirus.”

The recent spike in violent crime is a dramatic reversal of the highly-publicized downward trend in homicides, non-fatal shootings and business robberies that occurred over the first two weeks in March as compared to the first two weeks in February of this year.

“Obviously, it’s disheartening, but it matched up with what we’re seeing across the country,” explained Synder. “We have a bunch of people huddled together in confined spaces with sometimes tempers flaring amid the daily friction occurring, and it sadly leads to violence.”

Synder noted that responding officers are now facing an increased risk to their personal safety during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Due to the nature of our profession, officers are at the tip of the sphere in terms of having the least protective equipment and a rapidly evolving number of exposures [to Coronavirus],” Snyder said.

Snyder expressed optimism, however, calling this unique time in our nation’s history ‘an opportunity.’

“There’s a great opportunity for us all to rally together as a community, do what we do naturally as Hoosiers, which is show hospitality to one another, and be our brother’s keeper by loving our neighbors,” said Snyder, “and we will get through this.”

Click below to hear Hammer and Nigel’s full interview with FOP President Rick Snyder.

Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images