Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

February 6, 2014

Feb. 6, 2014: Letters to the editor

Kokomo Tribune

---- — Heights doesn’t have a crime problem

Though the Indian Heights Community Association (IHCA) thanks the Kokomo Tribune for taking time to do an article on our community in Sunday’s paper (Feb. 2, 2014, p. A1), we feel the article was overly focused on the perception of crime and gives the wrong impression we have a crime problem. We don’t. We wish the Tribune’s article could have focused more on our people, our homes and our sense of community.

Indian Heights does not have a crime problem. We have no more crime than any neighborhood in Kokomo or Howard County.

Several years ago, the IHCA performed a study of calls to service from the Howard County Sheriff’s Department, comparing one year’s worth of citizens’ calls to the sheriff’s office from the communities of Indian Heights, Greentown and Russiaville. Statistically speaking, our study found there was no significant difference in crime between each community.

Indian Heights did have more calls to service, but that can be easily explained by having more population than Greentown and Russiaville. Again, statistically speaking, no discernable difference in calls to service between these three fine communities.

Indian Heights is unique because of its size, population and layout. Before annexation, Indian Heights was the second-largest, non-incorporated community in the state of Indiana. With more than 1,240 dwellings, 3,000-plus residents and 9.4 miles of paved street, it has the demographics of a small town and requires quality of life ordinances that one finds in a city.

Quality of life ordinances, we did not have.

Kokomo has always had the laws and services Indian Heights needed, but previous city administrations were in no mood for annexing. The county never had the quality of life laws and services but did its best to serve us with the tools it had. The result was Indian Heights (before annexation) was governed as though it were a row of houses on a country lane, and residents could do most anything they wanted, noise wise or property wise, as if they had cornfields of space between their property and their neighbors’. But this is not crime.

The IHCA took an aggressive stand beginning in 2003. We added more street lights. We inventoried the community regularly and surveyed residents to find out what is important to them, and then we acted on it. We had meetings with the sheriff’s department and worked together to have junk vehicles removed from our streets. We wrote letters to landlords asking them to do a better job with their properties and much more, and many responded positively.

It is safe to say that there has been a positive trend of improvement for all Indian Heights residents starting in 2003. It is still improving today, thanks to Indian Heights being annexed into Kokomo and the quality of life ordinances that came with it.

Of all the issues that we were aware of, crime was not then and is not now a major issue in our community.

Indian Heights residents include police officers, registered nurses, nursing aides, plumbers, electricians, waitresses, investors, carpenters, educators, factory workers, housewives, single parents, veterans, senior citizens, and a good number of children and young people. We have many residents who have lived in their homes since being built and are happy here.

Indian Heights has issues, as any community has, but we are not a crime-ridden hood, as we feel we were depicted in the Tribune’s article.

If you are thinking of downsizing or just living a more sustainable lifestyle, perhaps Indian Heights might work for you. We have many nice, low-maintenance homes at affordable prices, good sidewalks, city water and sewer, and lots of good neighbors.

John J. Roberts