INDIANAPOLIS — Public Safety Director Troy Riggs says the number of Indianapolis homicides have declined 22 percent so far this year compared to the same period last year.
Riggs says as of July 6, 58 criminal homicides have occurred, compared to 74 the year before and 65 in 2013.
Criminal homicides exclude fatal shootings made in self-defense and fatal shootings by police.
Riggs says despite the decline in criminal homicides there is bad news. Over the last couple of weekends Indianapolis has seen an increase in shootings, making the total shootings for the year nearly equal to last year's.
Riggs says the root causes of violence, including mental health problems, education gaps and unemployment persist. He says it will take the effort of the entire community to keep the number of homicides moving downward.
Last year, DPS identified six so-called "focus zones" that have a disproportionate share of violent crime compared to the rest of Indianapolis. Non-profits and other city agencies have been working to address the root causes of crime, such as poverty, hunger and mental-health issues.