I received the weekly Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. newsletter yesterday. Stuck in the middle was this section:
Keeping Downtown Safe
Keeping Downtown safe is a top priority. You can help keep it safe. Fortunately, Downtown Indianapolis remains one of the safest areas of the city. With warmer weather and more outdoor activities, here are some tips you can use while out:
1. Be aware. Know where you are and what's going on around you at all times.
2. Use alert and assertive body language. Walk with purpose, head up, back straight.
3. Avoid poorly lit areas at night and areas not visible from the street.
4. Don't walk or drive alone at night in unfamiliar areas where you could easily become lost.
1. Secure your vehicle at all times. When you close a car door, lock it, whether you are inside or outside the car.
2. Always remove items from plain sight when you park your car. Anything of value should be removed from an unattended vehicle.
3. Ask for assistance or go with a coworker if you don't feel safe walking to your destination. Report crimes to the police. Even small crimes and minor thefts should be reported as they may be part of a developing trend. Call 911 for emergencies or call 327.3811 for non-emergencies.
This is notable because the primary purpose of Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. is to advertise and promote downtown. Talking about potential safety issues only undermines that goal. Their emails usually provide a weekly list of events, a little bit of "RA-RA, Indianapolis is wonderful" with a sprinkling of downtown news. And, of course, there's always the obligatory "there are 66,000 parking spaces downtown" line to appeal to people that require parking within 20 feet of their destination. (The most recent email upped this number to 70,000, though I'm not sure where 4,000 new spaces popped up.)
This email provides the first instance that I've noticed where they even hint at the possibility that downtown isn't gloriously clean with flowers everywhere, sunshine every day and a free curb-side parking space in front of your destination. Lines like, "Use alert and assertive body language. Walk with purpose, head up, back straight" will not inspire people to go downtown when their alternatives are places like Olive Garden on 82nd St. It's almost like the heading for that section should have read "Admitting Downtown Isn't 100% Safe."
The whole thing strikes me as very odd and I'm not sure the reason that they're addressing downtown safety. Has there been a rash of downtown crime that's been kept under wraps or something?
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