FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEEOWS
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 1998202/307-0703

INDIANAPOLIS FIRST CITY TO RECEIVE STATE-OF-THE-ART MOBILE COMMUNITY OUTREACH POLICE STATION FROM JUSTICE DEPARTMENT

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA -- As part of a new Justice Department effort to reduce crime and revitalize neighborhoods, Indianapolis today became the first city in the nation to receive a new state-of-the-art mobile police outreach station. The Mobile Community Outreach Police Station (MCOPS) initiative is a new part of the Department's Weed and Seed program.

The station was unveiled today in the city's Westside by Laurie Robinson, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP). Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, Indianapolis Chief of Police Michael Zunk, Stephen Rickman, Director of the Department's Executive Office for Weed and Seed (EOWS) and Ben Tucker, Deputy Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, participated in today's announcement.

The Weed and Seed program in Indianapolis initially focused on three neighborhoods on the Westside of the central city. The effort is now expanding to three other sections of the city: Near North/Mapleton-Fall Creek, Near Eastside and United Northwest.

"This station will be more than just an improvement in law enforcement; it will become an important part of the Indianapolis community policing effort," said Assistant Attorney General Robinson. "The MCOPS van will enhance the successful, ongoing effort by police to interact with residents and truly become part of the neighborhood."

The mobile station will provide police officers the opportunity to have immediate on-site contact with community residents and allow for quick dispatch of officers in response to service calls. It will also allow for special law enforcement deployment operations and make it easier for officers to participate in community meetings and forums.

"The mobile station helps everyone," said Rickman. "Police officers will save time and effort by not having to travel back-and-forth between headquarters and the Weed and Seed neighborhood, while the community residents will have easier access to the officers, which will enable them to get the help they need."

In addition to its use for basic law enforcement functions, the station can be used to provide services such as child immunization, blood pressure screening for the elderly, and childcare screening. The station features a full communications area, including radios, a fax machine and an interfaced phone system. It also includes two full workstations and a conference room.

The mobile station was custom built by for the Justice Department by Lynch Diversified Vehicles in Burlington, Wisconsin. The Indianapolis mobile station is one of six that EOWS is providing to Weed and Seed sites; the other five sites will receive their stations in the upcoming months.

To learn more about the other Weed and Seed programs and conferences, visit the EOWS web site at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/eows.

Information about other OJP bureaus and program offices is available at www.ojp.usdoj.gov. Media should contact OJP's Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at 202/307-0703.

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EOWS 98199

After hours contact: Adam Spector, 202/516-6800