INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — As President Joe Biden announced a major crackdown on crime and gun laws Wednesday, Indianapolis leaders discussed issues with the community during a monthly public safety walk.
Mayor Joe Hogsett and Police Chief Randal Taylor said most of what the Democrat president is pushing for, they’ve already been doing.
Part of the president’s strategy includes targeting firearms used in violent crimes and investments in community policing.
News asked Hogsett, also a Democrat, how Biden’s plan could impact Indianapolis. “I have not been invited to the White House to participate but I’m very encouraged that the president is taking a leadership role in terms of getting the guns out of the hands of people who have no legal business or no legal rights to possess them.”
The mayor added that only so much can be done on the ground, and new laws have to pass to help local leaders. “There is no more important issue facing not just Indianapolis, but the country as a whole than gun violence today,” Hogsett said.
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He said the city has already received half of its $420 million in American Rescue Plan of 2021 funds; he hopes to devote a major chunk to crime prevention.
“We’re still reviewing the Department of Treasury guidelines as to how the federal government will allow us to use those funds, so we haven’t made any final decisions about how those funds will be distributed and who to, but it won’t surprise you to know that if I have anything to say about it, there’s going to be a significantly greater investment, and we’re already making historic levels of investment to public safety,” the mayor said.
Wednesday’s public safety walk on the west side of Indianapolis was dedicated to members of the Sikh community. Taylor, who leads Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, said leaders wanted to spend more time with them following the FedEx mass shooting, where several of their members were killed April 15.
“It’s really a pretty good area, but, as the mayor stated, we pick a different area every month and it was the right timing for this,” Taylor said.
He also said he would be meeting Thursday with the FBI to go over its findings from the FedEx mass shooting.