A recent attack along the downtown Canal has prompted Indianapolis Metro Police and Indiana State Police to focus once again on ways to improve public safety at the popular downtown destination.
Last week, J.R. Keller ran into trouble along the Canal just after 10 p.m.
IMPD downtown commander Karen Arnett said nearly all of the recent incidents along the Canal have involved groups of young people, specifically young men, who attack at night. The problem is, the groups are sometimes large and move quickly.
"The man power and the resources is where our primary challenge is right now," Arnett said.
Since most of the violence, including the shooting in March, have happened on weekends, IMPD and Indiana State Police have stepped up patrols on Saturday nights focusing on a familiar problem. However, the most recent attack involving Keller, happened on a Wednesday when patrols are smaller.
“Our days that we concentrate on may not be the weekend,” said ISP Sergeant Rich Myers. “Maybe we need to come out in the week and then concentrate on those (times) also, in the evening."
Indiana State police saidany additional presence will take the form of undercover officers, who can monitor groups of teenagers more easily.
IMPD is also looking to bolster its reach even though they don’t have many more officers available.
"We are working on getting some additional cameras down here,” Arnett said. “We just had one installed, I'm not going to tell you where it is, but we did have one installed here in the past couple weeks."
Regardless of the increased presence, IMPD and ISP officers said they need help from the public. Since all of the trouble has taken place after dark, they ask anyone out on the Canal at the time to be diligent.
"Any time you see something or you feel uncomfortable, you know, I would move away from that location,” Arnett said. “Just keep in mind that you need to be aware of your surroundings."
Police increase presence along Canal after series of attacks