INDIANAPOLIS — After a record year of violence in Indianapolis, the northeast side of the city is trying to move on.

“In 2021, we actually saw a significant increase in homicides and violent crime,” said Joe Garrison, co-founder of the North Shadeland Alliance.

Specifically, Garrison said the corner of 75th and Shadeland was one of the trouble spots last year because it housed several crime scenes. He said this is one of the concerns the alliance has worked to address over time.

“A few years ago we put up an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department substation at 7th and Shadeland, which increased police presence,” he said.

Although more police on site has helped reduce crime, officials said it was not easy.

“Some of the biggest challenges are recruiting,” said Commander Ida Williams of WISP’s Office of Community Engagement and Outreach.

The challenges of hiring more officers were one of the talking points at Monday’s “Pizza with Police and Pastors” event.

IMPD, church leaders and the community gathered over pizza and chatted at Castleton United Methodist Church. There they talked and collaborated on ways to help make communities safer.

“We obviously have the same concerns and some of the same solutions,” Williams said. “It’s just a matter of how we put it all together.”

Garrison said when it comes to solutions, like beefing up patrols, he knows the police can’t do it alone. He added that it takes the community to work together, and that is already happening.

“We know that in the Northern District of Indianapolis we don’t have enough police. That there is a shortage these days,” he said. “With more police, it involves the community.”

Garrison said neighbors are starting to look for ways to be part of the solution, including joining the alliance and the Ten Point Coalition on their neighborhood security patrols.

“Every month we attract more people who are looking to get involved,” Garrison said. “It’s a neighborhood where life is good. It’s a great place to raise kids, raise a family. We’ve had a few bumps in the roads over the past two years, but you know, hopefully it’s on the rise and getting better every week.

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