IMPD Is Revitalizing Community Policing

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Lt Marshal Depew

Photo by Jay Thompson

(posted Apr 13 )

Forty three days have passed since Mayor Greg Ballard and the Public Safety Director Scott Newman resumed control of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department on February 28.
City County Councilor Marilyn Pfisterer invited IMPD Lt Marshal Depew to discuss the repositioning and new crime reduction strategies at her April 12 town hall meeting.

Depew has been appointed to oversee the newly created community crime reduction strategy (CCRS) program . The goal is to revitalize community policing by reconnecting with some old partners, developing new partners and recruiting volunteers. Depew acknowledged his not afraid to make changes and to think beyond the box. "I have dismantled the box and thrown it on the floor." he said.

Depew believes that most violent crimes are rooted to narcotics. Depew explained that IMPD has identified 12 hot spots, knows as the "dirty dozen." He said the dirty dozen will involve IMPD working and selling fake drugs to make arrests. However, that is not enough for Depew's programs. Arrests and convictions do not stop the cycle, so he plans to use pre-screening services after the arrest to see what the offenders' needs were that motivated them to commit the crime. "The pre-screening determines who they are and what are their needs," he said

Community policing will also attack the abandoned and vacant housing problem because it is a contributing factor to neighborhood crimes. Not only the will the program address a quicker turnaround time to physical problems of abandoned and vacant homes, but start focusing on mortgage fraud.

The CCRS program will partner with HUD and other agencies to prosecute mortgage fraud. Depew said mortgage fraud is more than a federal problem, it is local problem because it destroys neighborhoods.

He also discussed the new SMITE program, Scrap Metal Initiative Total Enforcement, that requires registration to sell scrap metal. The program is to curb the high metal theft rate.

Pfisterer said that about 5,000 ex-offenders are released from prison into Marion County each year and that she is working with Deputy Mayor Olgen Williams about organizing an ex-offender job fair. Job placement with ex-offenders is tough because employers are often skittish to hire someone that has been convicted of a crime.