Crime, safety among main talking points during Indy mayoral forum

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — With 47 days to go before Election Day, Indianapolis’ three mayoral candidates took the stage at the Indiana Landmarks Center to discuss their visions for the city.

The candidate discussion was not focused on one topic. Some candidates talked about climate change, and others talked about where to park electric cars.

It was a relatively calm forum with only a few subtle jabs exchanged.

Incumbent Democratic Mayor Joe Hogsett, Republican State Senator Jim Merritt, and Libertarian candidate Douglas McNaughton laid out their plan for the future of Indianapolis.

About 100 people listened as the candidates for mayor spoke at the Indiana Landmarks Center on a range of topics. Crime and safety were main talking points.

“Any police officer will be able to have my time. I want to know what is going on out in the neighborhoods where they’re putting their life on the line,” said Merritt.

“You can’t solve crime by throwing money at it. We do have an issue with police officers, but police officers don’t prevent crime,” said McNaughton. “Police officers catch criminals, and our full jails are a testament to our ability of our local police to catch criminals.”

Hogsett touted his current accomplishments as mayor, including an initiative to boost economic development in the city’s neighborhoods.

“It’s my excitement to see the result of our Lift Indy program has had in the Kennedy King neighborhood and the results that program will have on a soon to be third neighborhood,” said Hogsett.

This is the first time the three candidates have shared the same stage.

Each candidate got 15 minutes for an opening statement, then they fielded questions from the audience.

Infrastructure, potholes and Indianapolis Department of Public Works were all brought up by people in attendance.

“In addition to changing the state funding, is get the community involved, I would look to schools, nonprofits and other volunteer organizations to assist the city so that we can all pull together and fix it,” said McNaughton.

Merritt put emphasis on the city’s response to winter weather.

“We cannot miss snows! Under a Merritt administration, no snow will be missed,” said Merritt.

Hogsett has already released his solution.

“The 2020 budget will begin to create a second shift within the maintenance division, giving DPW the ability to work from sunup to sundown,” said Hogsett.

Now, with less than two months to the election, voters have to decide who is the best candidate to lead the city forward.

The event was put on by the Historic Urban Neighborhoods of Indianapolis and Indiana Landmarks.

Election Day is November 5.

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