IMPD plans to expand use of technology in fighting crime

“I think it’s a game changer,” one of IMPD’s deputy directors said of their plans to embrace more technology.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis police are relying on technology to help them curb illegal activity around the city.

Police now patrol the streets and increasingly use cameras scattered across the city.

“Crime doesn’t stay in one place,” said IMPD Deputy Commissioner Kendale Adams. “If the police go there, we’ll replace it.”

The technology they use in preventing crime or finding criminals is important, Adams said.

“I think it’s a game changer,” he said.

That’s why the department brought together its state and community partners on Thursday to announce they want to expand the incident analysis center at the department’s Eastside headquarters, where officers can monitor video from cameras around the city.

“We needed to be able to operate 24/7,” Adams said. “We’re not there yet because of staffing, but we need to get there.”

The IAC is staffed during business hours, Monday through Friday, with extended hours on weekends.

The department’s 2023 budget is moving toward that goal, with money to hire more than seven professional positions and a supervisor to help monitor live video feeds.

In addition to the outreach efforts, there is funding from the Safer Communities Project, a national initiative that brings together federal, state and local partners to pinpoint where violent crime is happening and how to stop it.

The funds will be used to help establish a monitoring room at the East Division headquarters.

“We’re trying to save lives. We’re trying to reduce violence, reduce gun violence so our community can be a safer place,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Zachary Myers.

According to Adams, technology in the form of more mobile trailer cameras will help make that happen. The department currently has six mobile trailer cameras in use and hopes to add four more in the next year.

“This technology helps us to be more focused. It helps us learn more about who might be driving the violence,” Adams explained.

IMPD Brass said more cameras and more staff who can monitor the video coming from them in real time means more effective policing at a time when departments across the country are struggling to fill open positions.

“If crime continues to occur in an area, we can quickly deploy through logistics and IAC and deploy those to areas where there may be a slight increase in crime,” Adams said.

IMPD wouldn’t say technology was responsible for the city’s decrease in homicides and non-fatal shootings compared to this time last year, but they believe the cameras and the eyes they provide across the city certainly help.

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