Mayor Ballard–TMI!

For a Mayor whose administration has been uncommonly secretive about information his constituents have a right to know, Mayor Ballard seems totally unaware of the damage that can come from TMI–too much information.

Ballard has been very defensive about his administration’s inability to reduce our horrendous crime rate (which is substantially higher than New York’s). That’s understandable. He has also insisted that the problem won’t be solved simply by adding more police, although he has conceded that IMPD is far, far below optimal staffing. A couple of days ago, he announced–with considerable fanfare–that the officers we do have will be deployed differently; that more police will be assigned to neighborhoods experiencing the most crime.

Okay. Maybe that helps, maybe not, but certainly reasonable.

The problem is, he identified those neighborhoods.

If you think about this for a minute–something I’m fairly confident no one in the Mayor’s office did–you can see the problem. Each area identified has neighborhood organizations, urban pioneers, nonprofits and others working hard to improve these communities and trying to encourage people to move in and become part of the area’s revitalization struggle. The administration has effectively undercut those efforts, labeling their neighborhoods as places people shouldn’t want to live.

The city might just as well have posted “Danger, Keep Out” signs.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, folks living in other neighborhoods–areas with problems that aren’t “the worst”–look at the Mayor’s deployment strategy and worry that the already thin police presence in our neighborhoods will decline, inviting a corresponding rise in crime. (If I were a burglar, I’d certainly consult that map–and confine my nighttime activities to non-targeted areas.)

The strategy of deploying resources to areas that most need those resources is fine. Announcing the specifics is bone-headed.

And this from an Administration that ignores legitimate Freedom of Information requests and refuses to share truly public information with the public.


  1. Yes people, it’s me again. Regarding my mugging, injuries and robbery in my driveway at 11:00 in the morning on April 21st; the couple had been identified on April 16th after mugging, injuring and robbing a 90 year old woman sitting in her car in the drive-through at Steak and Shake at Franklin Road and East Washington Street.. They were supposedly being followed by IMPD undercover police but somehow missed my mugging, the two thieves using my VISA credit card 3 times and my Walmart credit card 5 times in two different stores on that day. They were, however, hot on their trail when the couple registered in a room at Knight’s Inn motel at 21st and Shadeland at 6:00 p.m. that evening. One undercover officer rented the room next door to “continue surveilance”. The following Monday still following the thieves, now being driven by a friend, to the small MCL parking lot at 10th and Arlington. Carefully watching the vehicle they missed Mark Jones get out of it and rob victim number four. They did follow the vehicle to a nearby Shell station where they received a call on their police radio that there had been a robbery of the 4th victim in the MCL parking lot they just left. They did arrest them at that time. Mark and Lindsey Jones committed these four attacks and robberies within a two week time period and in the small area bordered by Franklin Road and Emerson Avenue, East Washington and 21st Streets. Do you feel safe yet?

    Regarding Ballard’s too much information, it cannot possibly top Goldsmith’s hairbrained idea to install metal detectors at all entrances to the City-County Building. This was met with a huge ruckus from within the building and the general public so Goldsmith made the decision to install metal detectors at only two CC Building entrances. He then announced publically which two entrances would have these detectors. Well duh! Which entrances do you think armed people would use? We must question if the same crew who advised Goldsmith of this protective measure are now involved in the current specific neighborhood efforts of Ballard and his Keystone Kops. Maybe we don’t need more police; maybe we need better trained police.

  2. I don’t live in Indiana and that appears to be good fortune.

    My guess is that Mayor Ballard (or is it Dullard) is a died in the wool politician. A two knob thinker. One for, what will get me (re) elected, one for what’s in it for me.

    Unfortunately, it takes more knobs to run a city. Heck, it takes more to run a 7/11.

  3. Dunno – you’re making the assumption that all criminals choose to commit all crimes based on the likelihood of police presense. While that might be true in the case or burglary (which along with most non-violent crimes except thefts from auto’s, seems to actually be down) It seems more likely that violent crimes occur closer to home, since those one might choose to assault seem to be those with whom the perpetrator already has some history of contact. Drug offenses, which appear to correlate with violent crime, do appear to occur in fairly delineated areas, probably based on economic groups.

    What is, I think, worthy of some discussion, is that in one permutation or another, the idea of concentrating police resources in specified areas has been announced and presumably implemented more than a few times during both this, and the previous administration. It seems to inevitably fail because there’s never a sustained interaction between the police and the residents of the targeted areas. One can argue just who bears the blame for that – insufficient resources to really implement community policing or an ingrained distrust of authority in those areas that’s going to take a generation to overcome.

    These are never sort term problems, and don’t correlate to the political cycles, but, because it’s the nature of the system, they’re always dealt with that way.

  4. Crime by neighborhood data is widely available, just google “crime rates by neighborhood indianapolis”

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