Like anyone who’s grown up in Indianapolis, I’ve spent my fair share of time in Broad Ripple. My experience has gone from a very wide-eyed teenager walking the strip, to a slightly less wide-eyed 21 year old meeting college friends out at OPT’s, to reconnecting with my future wife at Broad Ripple Tavern, to having an office over Starbucks and installing heating and cooling equipment for businesses and home owners in and around the village. Unfortunately directly and indirectly the experience has changed dramatically in recent months. We’re all familiar with the mass shooting over the Independence Day weekend, but perhaps even more disturbing than that are the litany of unreported holdups and muggings that have taken place.
It’s in the context of both personal and business interest that I attended last night’s forum to Keep Broad Ripple Safe, held by the Broad Ripple Village Association. While the event’s purpose was primarily information gathering in an attempt to gain consensus on the best long term action steps, there were a few takeaways that inspired me to have Homesense jump on board to support.
First, Broad Ripple’s greatest asset, it’s diversity, was on full display. Different ages and races all showed up and offered up ideas, engaged with one another, and actually listened to others opinions. In an age where childish pundits and politicians shouting talking points is ubiquitous, it was refreshing to see adults show up with a clear heart for their community.
Secondly, it was clear to me that the executive director and volunteer board members of the Broad Ripple Village Association are completely committed to this cause. The board president, Justin McKeand, manager of the BMO Harris Bank on Broad Ripple Ave. spoke clearly and concisely about the immediate action plan, their goals for a long term plan, and their desire for whatever actions to be taken to be done so from a broad coalition of support among the community.
What was evident to me after speaking with Justin at length is that the first thing that needs to happen, and quickly, is the immediate action plan needs to be implemented to stem any more mass violence from taking place.
Succinctly, that plan is:
1) Additional private security on and around Broad Ripple Ave.
2) Installation of increased lighting on Broad Ripple Ave.
3) Installation of permanent security cameras on Broad Ripple Ave.
4) Increased common area maintenance
According to Justin, the BRVA estimates a budget of $10,000 annually to achieve this primary goal. It’s also their intent that this be done completely with privately raised resources.
The BRVA believes, and I agree, that this isn’t the long term solution. The long term goals are what last night’s event was hopeful to achieve a plan of action toward. Further, speaking for myself, simply policing the problem to another area of Indianapolis isn’t a solution either. The issue of crime around the city can’t be simply solved by more police making more arrests, and more gun laws from a more intrusive government. It’ll take a cultural change like Smallbox owner Jeb Banner wrote about here with concerned citizens and businesses from all areas of town stepping up like those in the BRVA.
With that said, change has to be made quickly. This action plan will go a long way to stop violence today. To that end, Homesense has pledged up to $1,000 to match individual donations made from now until the end of July. Jack Hope owner of Hope Plumbing has also agreed to $1,000 in matching donations.
Our goal is:
1) to prompt other businesses in the Broad Ripple area to step up to the plate and match our pledge.
2) to get those who live in or enjoy Broad Ripple to give individually to this plan.
Want to step up? Donate here.
Have questions, email Justin McKeand – , Brooke Klejnot – email@example.com, or me – Brian@TrustHomesense.com