Indianapolis, Indiana – The City of Indianapolis announced on Wednesday its collaboration with the Indiana War Memorial Commission to supervise University Park, a move aimed at enhancing safety measures in the area.
University Park, owned by the state, will see increased oversight by Indy Parks and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) under this agreement.
Carly Kerndt, a local resident who regularly walks her dog in the park, expressed her concerns about the safety of the area. She said, “Some days are worse than others. Usually, especially at night, I make sure my boyfriend’s with me.” Kerndt added that many individuals experiencing homelessness frequent University Park, leading to incidents that can make the area feel insecure.
She shared, “They feed the homeless in the parks a couple days a week, which I think is amazing that they’re feeding the homeless, but it definitely can make the area feel a little bit unsafe. There’s often fights that break out here. There’s police cars that come more than once a week, so it just feels like a very unsettled area most days.”
Another resident, Allie Towriss, said, “It depends on the crew that’s here. I would say a lot of the homeless population tends to congregate here, and when there’s a lot of men in big groups, I tend to avoid walking through the park.”
This year, parks across Marion County have faced multiple issues, including three shootings. A woman was fatally stabbed during a brawl at University Park in May 2022, highlighting the need for heightened safety measures.
While the Indiana War Memorials Commission will retain the ownership of the park, it will be managed under Indy Park’s regulations. The new rules include prohibitions on alcohol use, animals off-leash, and weapon discharge, with park hours set from dawn to dusk. Special events will require permits. The IMPD has also installed a mobile public safety camera in the park.
Officer Young added, “Our mobile public safety cameras are already up as you can tell. However, we’ll increase bike and foot patrol throughout the downtown area.”