Downtown Indy, Inc., along with local leaders and the Downtown Recovery Committee co-chairs, reported that Downtown’s recovery is underway with measurable objectives and tactics to re-open Downtown as a diverse, inclusive and economically-vibrant community for the benefit of the entire city. (See the attached PDF.) Additionally, a new city-wide initiative to encourage residents to patronize Downtown businesses was introduced.
The Downtown Recovery Committee recently announced that the City of Indianapolis is providing $750,000 to Downtown Indy, Inc, (DII) for safety and security enhancements to the Mile Square area of Downtown. Based on priorities identified by the Committee, paying close attention to diversity and inclusion, the funding will be allocated for the following:
Enhanced Safety & Security
Increase Downtown Indy, Inc. foot/bike patrols of off-duty IMPD officers in the Downtown area, quadrupling the coverage already provided by DII. PROGRESS: As of today, 35 officers are on staff. The new schedule of eight officers each day Monday – Friday between 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. begins Sept. 1. Foot/bike patrol hours will increase from about 20 hours per week to 80 hours minimum each week.
Launch Downtown Indy, Inc.’s Safety Ambassador program employing civilians and IMPD cadets to assist Downtown patrons and business owners while serving as extra eyes and ears throughout the Mile Square. PROGRESS: Four new Safety Ambassadors have been hired, who will work in partnership with the IMPD Cadets. The Ambassadors are in the process of being trained and will be visible on the streets with Cadets seven-days a week in mid-September.
Create a network of 150+ street-level cameras, in partnership with Mile Square businesses, which will be part of IMPD’s existing B.Link program. PROGRESS: More than 25 properties have inquired about partnering in just a week. We anticipate at least 100 properties connected to the B.Link program.
Add mobile camera trailers positioned in crime hot spots that will be monitored by IMPD. PROGRESS: There is currently a mobile camera deployed on the Canal which has proven effective for deterring crime. The purchase of additional cameras is being pursued.
Increase partnership between IMPD’s Downtown District, IMPD’s Narcotics Unit and IMPD’s Homeless Unit to identify areas with increased activity and deploy resources more strategically. PROGRESS: Under the Public Health & Safety Recovery Committee, the group has been meeting weekly to collaboratively work on advocacy, employment and outreach.
A vital aspect in the recovery process is Downtown’s messaging. Business owners, managers, residents and the general public want to support Downtown, so a literal and figurative banner under which all could march was needed. DII’s committee made it clear that we needed to revive the image of Downtown; gain the confidence of Downtown residents and workers that it is safe and ready to be thriving again, even amidst COVID; remind everyone that there is much to love about Downtown; and to encourage residents beyond Downtown to try it again.
Downtown Indy, Inc., in partnership with Section 127, unveiled a new city-wide initiative to encourage residents to patronize Downtown businesses and reinvigorate Downtown pride: Back Downtown.
This concept serves as a rallying cry and inspires residents to discover Downtown again. It promotes the interconnection of all Downtown residents/attractions and the power of a united front. Downtown IS a thriving place. Play, eat, shop Back Downtown. Additionally, the double entendre is the notion that residents and businesses support or Back Downtown.
A marketing and social media campaign is underway, thanks to the generous support of many of our professional sports teams and private donors, including Section 127 and Sport Graphics. No tax dollars are being used for this messaging strategy.