Indianapolis, Indiana – The Indianapolis metropolitan area experienced varying homicide rates in 2023, with most cities and towns, including Indianapolis itself, witnessing a decrease or stabilization in their numbers. This trend, revealed through data from several police departments and the FBI, reflects a complex pattern of crime across the region.
In communities like Plainfield and Greenwood, there was a noticeable decrease in homicides compared to the previous year. Greenwood’s numbers fell from six in 2022 to four in 2023, while Plainfield reported only one homicide in 2023, down from three in 2022. Similarly, Fishers, located in neighboring Hamilton County, maintained a low homicide rate, with just one incident reported in both 2023 and 2022.
However, not all areas shared this positive trend. The town of Cumberland, spanning the Marion-Hancock County border, experienced its highest number of homicides ever, with three reported cases over the past year. Lawrence Police also reported a significant increase, with eight homicides in 2023, marking the highest in over five years.
Retired Lawrence Deputy Chief Gary Woodruff provided insights into these trends. He observed that the urban sprawl from Marion County into contiguous counties is likely spreading crime outward. Woodruff noted that as the metropolitan population grows, a corresponding increase in crime rates could be expected. However, he attributed the decrease in homicides in some areas to effective law enforcement partnerships like the Indiana Crime Guns Taskforce. These collaborations have led to higher accountability for offenders, reducing the likelihood of homicides.
Woodruff also pointed to the COVID-19 pandemic as a contributing factor to the recent spike in homicides, suggesting that communities are still recovering from its impact. He remarked on the apparent increase in willingness to commit violent crimes post-pandemic.
Despite these challenges, Woodruff emphasized that Indianapolis and its surrounding areas are generally safe. He expressed relief at seeing the decrease in homicide rates but stressed the importance of remembering the human cost of these crimes. “Once that trigger gets pulled that bullet cannot be taken back,” he said, highlighting the permanent and life-altering damage caused by such acts of violence.
For those interested in exploring violent crime statistics in communities across the country, a search can be conducted here. This information provides valuable context and insights into the ongoing efforts to ensure safety and reduce crime in American cities.