Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

State News

November 18, 2013

Bloomington targets issues in downtown

City addressing panhandling, public intoxication.

BLOOMINGTON — Bloomington officials have launched a new police patrol and outreach program for downtown to address problems with vandalism, panhandling and public intoxication.

The plan announced by Mayor Mark Kruzan will add two police details and calls for installing surveillance cameras on public properties. It also includes a plan for officers to work with social service agencies to address issues such as homelessness, The Herald-Times reported.

Kruzan said both approaches are needed in order for the effort to succeed.

“Too many people were writing me with a very common theme — that they don’t feel comfortable going into downtown,” Kruzan said. “That is plain and simple intolerable.”

Under the police component, officers working on overtime will staff the B-Line Trail and the area around Kirkwood Avenue, the city square and the Monroe County Courthouse for 88 hours a month. Those on the B-Line will use bikes or drive an ATV, while the officers stationed downtown will patrol on foot, police Chief Mike Diekhoff said.

The outreach program will offer training so officers better understand homelessness. Police will meet monthly with social service agencies and will be urged to refer people to a social service agency instead of making an arrest. They also will keep detailed records of police interactions downtown. An anti-panhandling campaign also will be incorporated into the plan.

“Clearly, it’s going to be a more specialized and time-consuming effort,” Diekhoff said. “The officers are going to take more time than they might normally take.”

The additional patrols will cost the city about $6,000 a month, which will be paid for with parking meter revenue.

Kruzan said the goal is to improve the overall behavior and conduct of people downtown, not to force people to leave the area or to make arrests.

“We’re extending compassion and expecting compliance,” he said. “But if you take advantage of a community’s compassion, there’s a cost.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State News
  • Vigo Co. creating 'little libraries' around city TERRE HAUTE (AP) — Coming soon to a neighborhood near you: A Little Free Library. The Vigo County Public Library is looking to plant more than a half-dozen "Little Free Libraries" all around the area, the Tribune Star reported (http://bit.ly/1jjSFC2

    April 21, 2014

  • Evansville zoo eyes increase in private funding EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Supporters of Evansville's nearly 90-year-old zoo are pushing for a public-private funding model that would fix the city's costs and bring in sponsors to help the zoo upgrade and expand. Generations have flocked to Mesker Par

    April 21, 2014

  • Sheriff wants OK to raise wages, keep employees ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana sheriff is asking local officials to lift a pay freeze that took effect during the Great Recession so he can retain employees. Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers says low wages in his department have prompted

    April 21, 2014

  • Lack of psychiatrists hits mental health patients LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — A nationwide shortage of psychiatrists is forcing many mentally ill Indiana patients to wait months for an appointment. The Health Resources and Services Administration reports more than half the state's counties have a shorta

    April 20, 2014

  • Indiana man strikes building, later hit by train MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (AP) — Police in northwest Indiana say a man who drove into a building in the morning was hit by a train later that night. The News-Dispatch reports that 26-year-old Carlos Cooper Jr. of Michigan City was seriously injured by an

    April 20, 2014

  • Animal activists aim to replace carriage horses FORT WAYNE (AP) — Kolette Winstead Frazier spent Friday afternoon at her Huntertown farm loading up horses for a weekend wedding in Michigan. For 30 years, Frazier has participated in clients' special occasions through her company, Rosewood Carriage

    April 20, 2014

  • Worries about new law's impact FORT WAYNE (AP) -- Officials in northeastern Indiana's Allen County say they're worried a new law revamping the state's criminal code will fill up their local jail with inmates. The law taking effect July 1 is aimed at sending more low-level, nonviol

    April 20, 2014

  • Raccoons enter substation, spark power outage RICHMOND (AP) — Hundreds of homes in eastern Indiana lost power in the middle of the night after officials say two raccoons slipped into a power substation and short-circuited electrical breakers. The two raccoons met their end about 3 a.m. Friday w

    April 20, 2014

  • Largest solar farm on Superfund site goes online INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The nation's largest solar farm built on a federal Superfund site is now generating power above a stretch of Indianapolis tainted by a long-shuttered plant's wood-treating operations. The 43-acre Maywood Solar Farm went online la

    April 18, 2014

  • Board member asks for old Indiana school standards INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A State Board of Education member is calling for a proposed overhaul of Indiana's education standards to be ditched and that the state's old benchmarks be reinstated in classrooms this fall. Board member Andrea Neal said Friday t

    April 18, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller