Downtown Indy, Inc. has increased its efforts to strengthen the positive perception of a safe Downtown through the purchasing of five specialized bicycles for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s Flex Team. As DII continues to look for ways to assist the homeless Downtown, this partnership with IMPD Downtown district addresses these needs. The unit requires bikes that could travel over rough terrain and still hold their necessary, potentially lifesaving equipment. These new bikes will allow the team to access areas that were difficult to enter using a police vehicle and will be able to continue their quest to assist the homeless located in camps along the river and wooded areas throughout the city.
The Flex team for IMPD Downtown district is a unique team of highly-trained officers. This team primarily focuses on the needs of the homeless and the concerns of the Marion County community. The unit knows most of the homeless community members by name and provides direct assistance linking them to necessary care as a result of the partnership built with these individuals. Each officer on the Flex team is an emergency medical technician. Supplies are carried by the team to assist with first aid. Last year, the team was able to use their skills and equipment to save lives within the homeless community by providing medical assistance on the scene and ensuring Mental Health Services were also provided during follow up visits.
The partnership between IMPD Downtown District and Downtown Indy, Inc. is yet another step to shape Downtown Indianapolis into the best place to visit, work, live, learn and play.
Earlier this year, DII hired IMPD Captain John Mann as its director of safety and security. Capt. Mann is responsible for overseeing DII’s security partnership with Downtown businesses addressing crime and safety concerns as well as increasing the perception of safety for Downtown Indianapolis.
Capt. Mannalso currently serves as the IMPD Downtown District Captain and continues his full-time role with IMPD while serving part-time for Downtown Indy, Inc. during his off-duty hours. Specifically, Captain Mann
- provides leadership for the Downtown Indy, Inc. bike and foot patrol of other off-duty police officers;
- enhances communications with DII members with ongoing safety and security messaging and
- leads Downtown Indy, Inc.’s role regarding the mitigation of panhandling and homelessness.
“This is the manifestation of an outstanding relationship our organization already has with IMPD’s Downtown District,” said Sherry Seiwert, president of Downtown Indy, Inc. “Having Captain Mann as part of our staff provides a remarkable opportunity for us to present a unified front with IMPD in communicating the success of Downtown safety efforts in partnership with business members and residents in addressing crime from a civic level as well as an enforcement level.”