Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v04n16)
Safety proposal gets okay from BRVA, neighbors - By Ashley Plummer
posted: Aug. 10, 2007
With gas prices higher than ever before, motorized scooters have become a hot commodity-for village residents and burglars alike.
Between the hours of 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. on July 26, 2007, Joe Adams, who lives at an apartment complex on 46th Street and Washington Blvd., had his Honda Metropolitan scooter stolen from his outdoor garage.
Valued at around $1,800, when Adams realized his scooter was gone, he immediately called the Indianapolis-Marion County Police Department, only to meet a cop with a rather negative approach.
"He basically told me that this is what happens inside I-465 because of the lack of patrols," Adams said.
A few hours later, Andy and Annie Skinner, who live in the same apartment complex as Adams, had their two almost-new Vespa Motor Scooters stolen from their outdoor garage complex.
With the combined value of the theft ranging around $7,000- Annie Skinner said that she felt hopeless that the Vespas would ever be recovered.
"The officer taking our report told us that we were lucky to even get through to the station," she said. "He pretty much blamed the rise in area crime on the closure of the 42nd and College Ave. police office."
At the Mid-North Public Safety Committee meeting on August 3, Major John Conley said, "Property crimes are really bothering me right now because it seems like that is an area that I can really do something about-if I get some help."
The spike in crime-specifically burglaries in the summertime-is nothing new to the Indianapolis area or the nation for that matter. Mayor Bart Peterson is currently taking steps to ensure the passage of a crime package through the city council that will budget 50 million in tax payers' dollars towards crime prevention in the city as well as pension and retirement plans for officers.
However, Christine Scales, who was appointed to represent District 1 on the Washington Township Advisory Board last January, is pushing for a proposal that would begin crime prevention in Washington Township sooner than later, without costing heavily-burdened tax payers any more money.
In her proposal, Scales wrote that, upon assuming her position on the Advisory Board, she became aware of approximately $4.3 million in cash reserves within the Washington Township coffers.
In an effort to provide a solution to the rising crime rates that she saw as a major concern of Indianapolis residents, Scales began to put together a proposal that outlines the use of supplemental police patrol workers in Washington Township.
In a phone interview, Scales said that this is one way that the township political subdivision could show its presence to residents.
"We are always being criticized for not having a presence in residents' lives," she said. "This proposal looks at the good of the community-it's not political."
The proposal works as follows: Five of the highest crime areas within Washington Township would be identified to receive one additional 6-8 shift police patrol four days a week. Geographic parameters for patrols would be pre-established.
This additional protection would be offered in a one-year pilot program. After the pilot is finished, the results would be measured for effectiveness and consideration would be given as to whether to continue allocating township funds for this purpose.
"The supplemental police patrol workers will have full-fledged moon-lighting capacities," Scales said. "We would only consider hiring the extra police though IMPD authorized security firms."
This means that the extra patrol men would have all the same rights as regular IMPD police officers, including the ability to arrest a criminal and take them to jail without a holding period.
Scales mentioned that Maj. Conley was giving her recommendations for which security firms to use. Conley said in the Safety meeting that he feels IMPD is doing a good job at ensuring there is at least one officer on every beat, but more help is needed.
"We have at least one officer on each beat...But with as many things that are going on, that officer is going from one radio call to another which leaves time for very little proactive policing," Conley said.
The scooter gang seems to feel the same way-that there is definitely a need for more safety patrolling in the area.
"It would be a great thing for our area [Meridian-Kessler]," Skinner said. "It seems to be an area that has had a lot of trouble lately."
Adams agreed with Skinner, but also added that he feels the lack of patrol in his neighborhood has a lot to do with the closure of the police station on 42nd and College Ave.
"I just felt more safe when there were still patrols there," he said. "It seems as though you never see cops patrolling this area anymore. Anything that would bring in more patrols would help out the area a lot."
Adams mentioned that he has also had numerous items, including an iPod and a laptop, stolen from his car right on Washington Boulevard.
So far, Scales has the Broad Ripple Village Association along with the Keystone and Millersville Neighborhood Associations on her side, but the proposal has been met with skepticism by fellow Township Advisory Board members.
*If you wish to read a full copy of the proposal, please email Ashley@broadripplegazette.com. If you feel you support the proposal, please see below for a list of the 2007 Washington Township Trustee and Advisory Board Members.
Frank Short, Trustee - 1595 E. 86th St. - Indianapolis, IN 46240 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Raymond A. Baker, Board President - 55 Highland Manor Court, South - Indianapolis, 46228 - email@example.com
Helmut Brugman - 600 King Drive - Indianapolis, IN 46260 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Orea - 3830 Capitol - Indianapolis, IN 46208 - email@example.com
Joseph E. Simpson - 4525 N. Guilford - Indianapolis, IN 46205 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine Scales - 5133 Plantation Dr. - Indianapolis, IN 46250 - email@example.com
Jack Werner - 5665 Rolling Ridge Rd. - Indianapolis, IN 46220 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Smith-No contact information available, please forward emails to email@example.com