Indianapolis area suburban police agencies are forming an alliance to combat crime they contend is growing in their jurisdictions as a result of problems in Marion County’s beleaguered justice system, the Indianapolis Star reports. “We are being pounded by spillover crime,” said Greenwood Police Chief Joe Pitcher. “I think Indianapolis-Marion County has lost focus on public safety.”
Arrest statistics appear to support the contention. No comprehensive statistics have been compiled to document the extent of the problem. But police agencies are starting to gather such data. Avon Police Chief Jeff Ritorto blamed the early release of prisoners at the Marion County Jail for contributing to a near tripling of forgery cases in his town of 8,200 residents. Indianapolis Councilman Isaac Randolph has called for a regional police summit, tentatively set for September, to look at possible solutions. “We need to address crime like we do mass transit and economic development,” he said. The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute is joining the effort by seeking federal grants to pay for studies of crime data and crime-fighting strategies. “The criminals don’t recognize our boundaries — they never have and they never will,” said the institute’s Jason Hutchens.