Homicides are at an all time high in the last 20 years, what does it mean for IUPUI students?

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Indianapolis has seen a recent surge in crime in the last four years, with the Homicide rate rising 46% according to fbi.gov. With the increase in homicides in the last four years, how have crime rates in Indianapolis looked with past mayors, and what does the uptick in crime mean for IUPUI students?

From 2000-2007, mayor Bart Peterson was the mayor of Indianapolis and while Peterson was mayor, homicide numbers were mostly flat averaging out at 99.75 homicide cases per year. However there was a large jump in number for one year in 2006, where the number of homicides jumped from 108 in 2005 to 140 in 2006. 

From 2008-2015, Gregory A. Ballard was the mayor of Indianapolis. During Ballard’s tenure as mayor the number of homicides were very low in the first half of his service, from 2008-2011 the highest homicides ever got to were 114 in 2008. However in the last half of Ballard's office the number climbed up every year from 2012-2015, going from 97 in 2012 to 148 in 2015.

Most recently, Joe Hogsett is the mayor of Indianapolis and he has experienced the highest homicides rates in the last 20 years. The number of homicides has increased 46% since Hogsett has taken office. In 2016 there were 148 homicides and in 2020 there were 216 homicides. However Hogsett knows the crime levels in Indianapolis are high but still says that the city is extremely safe, 

"The fact that large cities all across the country are experiencing the exact same thing indicates to me that the scope of the problem goes beyond our borders and goes beyond our regular funding," Hogsett said. 

So with the rise of homicides in the city what does it mean for IUPUI students? IUPD police chief Doug Johnson has noticed a rise in crime the last year however, he has several recommendations for students to keep them safe on campus. 

“Knowing what's going on in the local community, not just the campus but our Indianapolis is important,” Johnson said, “A lot of students don't know that 24/7, 365 days a year they can give us a call and we will provide either a walk or a ride around the campus community”.

Johnson also mentioned countless other programs that IUPD has to keep students safe, like using the IUPD app called Rave Guardian. This app allows students to text a 911 dispatch incase of an emergency. The app also allows you to set a safe walk timer. A safe walk timer allows you to tell people that you trust that you are walking somewhere and it should take you a certain amount of time to get there. If you do not contact them within the time frame it will contact that friend for you. 

“Take care of each other,” said Johnson, “I can't underscore that enough it really does take a village”.

Johnson wants all students to feel safe on campus and is happy to assist in answering any questions students may have. The IUPD dispatch phone number is 371-274-7911. If students do want a SAFE WALK the phone number is 317-274-7233 (SAFE). 

“We really are our brothers and sisters keepers, if we all help each other out like that we are in a much safer environment. We want people to call us” said Johnson. 

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