EPD started it's 'directed patrol' program on Tuesday in In hopes of curbing gun violence on the streets of the south side. As part of this program, when officers aren't assigned to a particular run, they will patrol the area of Kentucky and Covert. However, that's just a small portion of the program. The department hopes an increased police presence will mean fewer shootings.
It's ominous and it's obvious. It's meant to be seen and heard. While the Guardian sits, watches and waits, it's the solution to the problem, police say.
"I'm sure for law-abiding citizens in that area, it is a scary time," said EPD Captain Andy Chandler. "We wish we could do more and we are trying to do more."
By doing more, the Evansville Police Department hopes to accomplish more as increasing gun violence grips the south side. Specifically, police say, the crime centers around the 1000-block of Covert Ave.
"We've had over 100 shots fired incidents in a small, confined geographic area in the South sector," said Capt. Chandler. "And that's just from July through October."
That's more than 25 shootings a month and almost a shooting per day. For the next week, using grant money, EPD will pay five officers to work overtime and patrol this part of the south side. Not to mention, the department deployed both of it's Guardian vehicles.
"Well that's good," said Teresea Stewart, who moved into her Covert Ave. home a week ago. "We need the protection."
One of the Guardian vehicles sits in Stewart's front yard which is caddy corner to the house of an alleged leader of the 'L.A. Zombies' street gang.
"It won't be cheap but we're hoping it will be worth it," said Capt. Chandler. "If we can prevent some of this, make some arrests and take some individuals off the street than it is worth putting the money into it."
Capt. Chandler says cooperation from the community and from victims plays a major role in turning the tide in this latest wave of violence. There are a number of secure and anonymous tip lines you can call including the WeTip hotline.