IMPD rolls out 2014 crime-fighting strategy

Police target career criminals, victims

INDIANAPOLIS - In the wake of a violent 2013, officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department are getting ready to roll out a new crime-fighting strategy for 2014.

In addition to enforcing the law, police said they will rely more on scientific data to prevent crime.

IMPD Chief Rick Hite said that police do a good job of catching the bad guy after the fact, but now they want to take a more scientific approach to stopping crime before it happens. That means police hope to do a better job of knowing who the bad guys and victims are.

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is one of the leading tourist attractions in the Midwest, but the neighborhoods surrounding the museum have become places to avoid.

"They come into the neighborhood and get their drugs and go out. Yeah, it's terrible. I mean there's kids out here. And these kids are playing. And they don't care," a concerned resident said.

IMPD officers targeted the neighborhood and a couple of others for aggressive crime intervention, a 2013 effort that yielded startling results.

The effort led to nearly 1,300 arrests on more than 2,400 criminal charges, including the seizure of hundreds of firearms.

Looking deeper into the backgrounds, police discovered that the top 20 offenders taken into custody combined for more than 900 felony and misdemeanor arrests.

Those numbers showed police that they need to focus their enforcement efforts on a small core of career criminals.

"Are you just one of those individuals that decided that this is your choice, your lot in life? So we need to make preparations for you to send you away for long periods of time," Hite said.

Along with career criminals, police will focus their attention on so-called career victims, people whose lifestyles put them in harm’s way. Police will target them for social-service providers who can steer them away from the root causes of their victimization.

Casey Bland was shot three times while selling drugs. Bland's third shooting convinced him to move toward the church, and he started mentoring at-risk youth to avoid a life of crime.

"A lot of people felt I couldn't do it. You're going to keep doing the same thing in a revolving door. I wanted to prove to a lot of people that they were wrong," Bland said.

Police said the scientific studies show that a person who survives one shooting is 75 percent more likely to be shot again.

Police said a core group of approximately 450 criminals is responsible for 60 percent of all Indianapolis crime.

Follow Jack Rinehart on Twitter: @jackrinehart6

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