Cross Section of Community Leaders to Hold Forum to Address Unmanageable Downtown Crowd
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Cherrish S. Pryor

Cross Section of Community Leaders to Hold Forum to Address Unmanageable Downtown Crowd

Indianapolis - Councillor Sherron Franklin, along with Leroy Robinson, is spearheading a forum to identify solutions to address the growing problem of unmanageable downtown crowds during Indiana Black Expo’s (IBE) Summer Celebration, the Circle City Classic and on the weekends. Not only is there an increased concern that teenagers are congregating in the downtown area after curfew hours, but there are also individuals between the ages of 18 to 25 contributing to the problem.

"Our goal for the forum is to identify, and implement solutions to control the unmanageable crowd immediately and not wait until someone gets hurt or killed," said Councillor Sherron Franklin. She added, "The community cannot continue to be in a reactive mode when finding positive activities and outlets can be available to our young people if we were to tap into them."

Councillor Franklin and Mr. Robinson will be joined by other Council members; Steve Campbell, Mayor’s Office; Sandra Chapman, WTHR Channel 13; Tony "Amp" Harris, local entertainment promoter; Olgen Williams, community activist; and representatives from the Indianapolis Police Department, Circle Centre Mall, IBE, and Indianapolis Downtown Inc. The forum will be held on Wednesday, August 30, 2006, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. in the City County Building’s Public Assembly Room, which is located at 200 E. Washington Street.

During Summer Celebration and Circle City Classic, teenagers often wander the streets and the mall of the downtown area after being dropped off by their parents. The teens are unsupervised and sometimes display inappropriate behavior. In some instances, parents reserve hotel rooms for their teens and friends for the weekend.

Councillor Franklin said, "Part of the solution that I will be suggesting will be to make the parents more accountable for their underage children, enforcing the city’s curfew law, increasing traffic restrictions, and increasing enforcement of other city violations."

Mr. Robinson said, "The issue that continues to linger in my mind and in my heart is the experiences that our young people continue to express and the manner in which they continue to put a negative light on the entire weekend by their irresponsible behavior."

While the problem of teenagers and individuals between the age of 18 to 25 escalate during IBE and Circle City Classic, venues such as the Circle Centre Mall deal with the teenage problem on a weekly basis. Other businesses in the downtown area have also expressed concern for the crowds that congregate downtown. Some of them, such as Palomino’s, Stake ‘n Shake, and Houlihans have agreed to take part in the forum.

"We must address the unmanageable crowd that makes it difficult for the downtown area to be enjoyed without making anyone feel they are not welcome to visit and participate in the festivities that take place downtown," said Councillor Franklin.

Councillor Franklin is a 15-year veteran of the Indianapolis Police Department.

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