At 90% of our city’s $1B+ budget, this is by far the biggest responsibility and concern of the city. Public safety is obviously a complicated issue that will necessarily entail both short and long-terms solutions.
In the short-term, we need to add officers. Both mayoral candidates propose to add 150, and I would support this measure. I would like to use the added personnel to dedicate more officers to the IMPD Metro Drug Taskforce, IMPD Criminal Interdiction Unit and IMPD District Narcotics team. We also need to equip law enforcement with better technology (like body and dash cams) to protect their interests and the interest of citizens. I also am in favor of Chuck Brewers proposed real-time intelligence data center to help our officers work smarter and be more proactive. Empowering neighborhood crime watch organizations and improving communication between IMPD and the neighborhoods can also make a big difference (some of our neighborhoods are already making positive changes in these areas with success). I would also like to more vigorously support the remarkable efforts of the Ten Point Coalition. I have a lunch schedule with Reverend Harrison to find out how the city can best support their efforts, therefore increasing their impact on Indianapolis. Illegal guns are an enormous problem here in Marion County, and I would advocate for stiffer penalties and mandatory minimum sentencing for any offense involving an illegal firearm.
I would support the reinstatement of the Indianapolis Violence Reduction Partnership. This will help to engage many parts of the community and various law enforcement organizations with a coordinated efforts within Marion County. (As you may know, Indy pioneered this in the late 1990’s with results that saw a drastic reduction in violent crime). We must strengthen our re-entry and rehabilitative efforts as well, trying to curb repeat offenses. Second Chance Indianapolis is one way in which we can do so (more details on that here).
Economic development and improving education are the two most significant things we can do to reduce crime. We need to make sure that every child has access to great schools, there are enough living-wage jobs, and that we efficiently address the skills gap.