INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Fighting crime with a plan of action is the goal of the Department of Public Safety and the Ten Point Coalition this year. The group met for the first time Tuesday to fight the crime plaguing the city malls.
"We can only be as successful as a relationship that we enjoy with the community," said Public Safety Director Troy Riggs.
On the second floor of the City-County Building inside the Director of Public Safety conference room, members of the Ten Point Coalition and faith-based community met with Riggs about crime in Indianapolis. The meeting came on the heels of two incidents at local malls.
On Friday, a 15-year-old fired shots inside Lafayette Square Mall . Police said he fired three to four shots. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
"We can not ignore this, because we have to address it before something bad happens," said Rev. Charles Harrison with the Ten Point Coalition.
A day after the Lafayette Square incident, IMPD Chief Rick Hite and Northwest District Commander Brain Mahone walked the mall among shoppers and store workers.
"I have to applaud the chief and his staff for being out walking the malls after that occurred to show that this type of violence won't be tolerated," Riggs said.
But the walk wasn't enough; that night police were called to Circle Centre Mall after a fight involving two gangs.
"I think we need to look at some things. I think we've done a good job addressing the kids downtown outside the mall, at the canal and at the bus stops, but obviously there's some concern about what's going inside the mall," Rev. Harrison said.
Riggs said he feels things in the city are relatively safe; but more has to be done.
"We need to be in all segments of our community talking about public safety, making sure that we are listening to the community that we serve," he said.
Harrison said with the start of the new year, members of the community want to get off to a good start. They want to have a strategy in place and set goals.
"We've been dealing with this issue for years in the community, but we need to resolve it," said Rev. Harrison.
IMPD said crime is down in the city overall, and the director of public safety wants to keep it that way. He and the Ten Point Coalition have agreed to set some goals and objectives for this year. They plan to meet monthly going forward. Then, in a couple of months they hope to have a plan in place to target the issues at the malls.
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