INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Thursday night, a member of the Indianapolis City-County Council said a veto by Mayor Greg Ballard "boils down to a matter of priorities."
Democrat Zach Adamson is talking about Ballard's announcement, Thursday afternoon, that he rejected a City-County Council push for more police officers.
Adamson told 24-Hour News 8, "I think the council has very clearly and very distinctly been reflecting the priorities that I think the public shares."
Earlier this month, the council approved diverting $6 million from a construction account to pay for the new manpower.
Before that vote, Ballard accused council Democrats of "trying to trap me politically. Trying to make me look embarrassed by this."
"This is the part they never want to explain," Ballard told 24-Hour News 8, "you can't put one-time money to an operational expense. You can. But that's how you get in trouble as a city."
He said, it wouldn't pay for the continuing expenses from new officers.
In announcing Thursday's veto, the Mayor's Office said in the next few weeks, the city "will release a plan to move 100 officers from desk jobs to the street in a responsible manner that will help reduce crime and does not add to our budget deficit."
Councilor Adamson said the council's proposal was designed as "an account to train officers." It "has never been a solution to pay police officers. Like I said, we lose 42 every year. Their pay still exists. They don't take their pay with them when they retire. So that's how you pay new police officers -- and new police officers make substantially less than older police officers."
Indianapolis City-County Council President Maggie A. Lewis released the following statement Thursday evening:
This veto comes as Indianapolis is in the middle of an escalating wave of violent crime. To date, we have seen little action from the mayor as he instead spends his time on misplaced priorities including a cricket stadium and international travel.
The mayors plan has only been put forward after Council Democrats took action to hire 60 new officers and comes a long six years after his pledge to make public safety a priority.
With this proposal, the leadership of the City-County Council offered a clear plan to quickly get more police officers on our streets. We regret that the mayor continues to focus on his own misplaced priorities rather than on the highest priority of our residents -- public safety.
The proposal will return to the council, automatically, but, supporters need 20 votes to override the veto and, with the divisions on the council, that may be difficult to achieve – even though a handful of Republicans supported the proposal, the first time.
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