June 28, 2018

Public Safety Forum on Violence Reduction in Indy Draws Crowd

A panel of experts which included IMPD Chief Bryan Roach and Director of Community Violence Reduction Shonna Majors spoke to dozens at Thursday's public safety forum on violence reduction in Indianapolis. - Sarah Panfil/WFYI

A panel of experts which included IMPD Chief Bryan Roach and Director of Community Violence Reduction Shonna Majors spoke to dozens at Thursday's public safety forum on violence reduction in Indianapolis.

Sarah Panfil/WFYI

Community members gathered Thursday night for a public safety forum to discuss violence reduction in Indianapolis.

A panel, which included Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Bryan Roach and newly appointed Director of Community Violence Reduction Shonna Majors, spoke at the forum. Majors stressed the importance of community involvement in crime prevention.

“This is going to take time. It took time to get here, it’s going to take time to get out of here,” Majors said. “But I think if we all do this together than we can make a difference.”

Roach says the police need to foster better relations with the public. He says it’s important for officers to have smaller geographic areas, or beats, that they’re responsible for.

During the Q&A after the panel, some members of the public mentioned systemic racism and fear of police. Roach responded by acknowledging the conflict.

“It breaks my heart to talk to African American females who have sons that are afraid when they get pulled over by the police department,” Roach says. “I can tell you that I care all day long, but I’ve got to show it.”

The rate of homicides as well as nonfatal shootings is up compared to previous years. Public discussions like this one are ongoing and aim to address violence and find solutions.

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