Indianapolis leaders credit sophisticated crime analysis, targeted policing, dogged legwork, and community cooperation with keeping homicides in Indianapolis at their lowest levels in recent history, the Indianapolis Star reports. The police department preliminarily recorded 100 homicides last year, one more than in 2009, when the city recorded a 16-year low.
“Our officers and analysts have been very aggressive in making use of crime analysis, mapping and picking out crime hot spots,” said Public Safety Director Frank Straub. Experts said policing is likely only part of the explanation; Indianapolis, like many other cities, is simply riding a national crest in violent-crime reduction. “Murder is down in the United States and has been for a number of years,” said Brian Royer, a criminologist at Indiana State University. “I guess it looks real good if you compare Indianapolis to Indianapolis, but a lot of other places are declining, too.” Despite the city’s two-year dip in homicides — previous years more typically saw about 120 homicides — it fared slightly worse than other cities its size in 2009. That seems likely to be the case again in 2010 when the final numbers are in.