Column: Crime Reduction Unit stops criminal activity before it starts

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Commentary by Larry Lannan

In 1964, the Beach Boys released a hit record called “I Get Around,” about how fast their cars were. The song includes the following words:

“My buddies and me are getting real well known. Yeah, the bad guys know us and they leave us alone.”

The Fishers Police Department launched the Crime Reduction Unit in August of 2014. Its stated goal is stopping criminal activity before it starts, so the “bad guys” will leave Fishers alone.

Fishers Police Sergeant Mike Taylor supervises the unit. There are two full-time members of the group in patrol. Officers Kevin Silbaugh and Doug Weesner. There are three other officers assigned to the unit as needed – Seth Goldstein, Brandon Buehre and Ben Colling. The commanding officer is Captain Ed Gebhart.   

These officers are mainly focused on drug crimes and vehicle thefts in the City of Fishers.   Taylor said they pay special attention to areas such as 96th Street, 116th Street, I-69 and Ind. 37.

The unit does act on intelligence received, but for the most part, the officers depend on their training and experience to intervene with the criminal element before the damage is done, according to Taylor. Sometimes, a simple traffic stop can evolve into a major arrest.

Taylor points to the numbers when asked how successful his unit has been so far. There have been 70 felony arrests from the group’s inception in August through the end of December, 2014.  Those arrests can lead to cooperation from those suspects and provide valuable information for investigators.

Taylor believes “the sky is the limit” on how the future looks for the Crime Reduction Unit. He wants to keep Fishers the safe city it has been and “keep it safer as (Fishers) continues to grow as a city.”

Captain Eberhart said the outstanding job done by the officers patrolling the residential neighborhoods of Fishers allows the department to create a unit like this. He said it is difficult to measure the effectiveness of this unit because “we will never know what (crime) we stop.” He believes police “cars out, lights on” to be the best crime prevention strategy.

Mayor Scott Fadness put the spotlight on the Crime Reduction Unit in his recent State of the City address. The mayor has good reason to tout the successes of this new emphasis for the Fishers Police Department. The Crime Reduction Unit means more bad guys will know us, and leave us alone.    

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