For the past decade, crime rates within the Indianapolis city limits have fluctuated greatly. In the late 1990s, violent crimes in inner-city neighborhoods located within the old city limits (pre-consolidation) peaked. The former Indianapolis Police District (IPD), which serves about 37% of the county's total population and has a geographic area covering mostly the old pre-consolidation city limits, recorded 130 homicides in 1998 to average approximately 40.3 homicides per 100,000 people. This is over 6 times the 1998 national homicide average of 6.3 per 100,000 people. Meanwhile, the former Marion County Sheriff's Department district serving the remaining 63% of the county's population, which includes the majority of the residents in the Consolidated City, recorded only 32 homicides in 1998, averaging about 5.9 murders per 100,000 people, slightly less than the 1998 national homicide average. Homicides in the IPD police district dropped dramatically in 1999 and have remained lower through 2005. In 2005, the IPD police district recorded 88 homicides to average 27.3 homicides per 100,000 people; nonetheless, the murder rate in the IPD is still almost 5 times the 2005 national average.
When considering the total Consolidated City of Indianapolis, the overall crime rate has historically been low compared to the national average. Nonetheless, crime in impoverished inner-city neighborhoods remains a problem. Areas of Indianapolis that were unincorporated or separate municipalities before the 1970 city-county consolidation generally have significantly lower crime rates although their aggregate population is higher than the old pre-consolidation Indianapolis city limits. Thus, crime figures for the Consolidated City and the entire Marion County average out to a low rate. However, according to FBI reports in 2006, for the first half of the year, Indianapolis saw one of the larger increases in homicides in the country for the first half of 2006 as compared to the same time period in 2005. Overall violent crime in Indianapolis increased 8% for the first half of 2006 compared to the first half of 2005. While Marion County has still not surpassed its record homicide number of 162 set in 1998, it is on pace to see one of the highest numbers of homicides since then, with 153 committed in 2006 as the year draws to a close. In one 2006 event, seven individuals from the same family were murdered in their home. In 2007, city leaders such as Sheriff Frank J. Anderson and former Mayor Bart Peterson held rallies in neighborhoods in effort to stop the violence in the city. In 2008, 122 homicides were recorded in Indianapolis.
The immediate downtown area of the city around most main attractions, venues, and museums remain relatively safe. IMPD uses horseback officers and bicycle officers to patrol the downtown area or the city. Certain areas of Indianapolis, most notably portions of the city's East Side, remain a challenge for law enforcement officials. Indianapolis was ranked as the 33rd most dangerous city in the United States in the 2008–2009 edition of CQ Press's City Crime Rankings http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indianapolis