IMPD Is Revitalizing Community Policing
|click on photo to expand
|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."
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.