Crime Watch 8

City-County Council agrees to spend $3.3M on violence reduction

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — On Monday night, the Indianapolis City-County Council adopted Mayor Joe Hogsett’s violence-prevention plan 39 days and 34 homicides after the proposal was first announced.

Every time the Democrat mayor has been asked recently about a solution to the shootings, he’s pointed News 8 to his plan.

The Democrat mayor said, “I’m not suggesting that tonight’s fiscal will resolve every issue in gun violence that the city of Indianapolis has. That will take time and, frankly, if we are to meaningfully change the trajectory of gun violence in our city, it’s not going to be done by dollars alone. It’s going to be done when every single person in Indianapolis does what he or she can to make our city a safer and more equitable city.”

The plan will spend $3.3 million to reduce crimes and expand community-based programs. Proposal 182 was on the agenda for Monday’s 7 p.m. meeting

More than half of the money will go to the Office of Public Health and Safety in Indianapolis. Hogsett said that the money will help with juvenile justice, domestic violence, and conflict resolution. The plan also will use community partners to focus on areas of food security, offender re-entry, and homelessness.

Money from Proposal 182 will also go to the police department’s technology and data analysis capabilities.

The mayor said the money will hopefully get to the root of gun violence in Indianapolis and will pay off in the long run.

Since Hogsett proposed the plan June 3, 33 more people have been killed in homicides, said Rick Snyder, the leader of the local Fraternal Order of Police. A 34th homicide happened Monday night before the proposal was adopted.

So far in 2021, Indianapolis has recorded 137 homicides. At this time in 2020, the city recorded 120 homicides; at this time in 2019, the tally was 81.

The city in 2020 set a record, with more than 250 criminal homicides.

The FOP had called on the council to amend Proposal 182 on Monday night to add four items:

  • Buying and deploying a gunshot-detection system.
  • Buying and deploying mobile and static license-plate readers.
  • Staff the Arrestee Processing Center 24 hours a day, particularly during the summer.
  • Do away with automatic low bonds for repeat convicted felons and replace them with a new Level 6 felony charge.

The council’s public safety committee sent the plan to the full council with a “do pass” recommendation on June 10. Last week, council members said they expected the plan to pass.

Statements

INDIANAPOLIS – This evening, the City-County Council adopted Proposal 182, which dedicates over $3 million to violence reduction strategies. Announced by Mayor Joe Hogsett in June, Proposal 182 passed out of committee unanimously and passed the full City-County Council with broad bipartisan support. The fiscal includes investments in community organizations addressing mental health and trauma, youth services, and intimate partner violence prevention programming; enhanced data infrastructure to facilitate real-time violence reduction strategy; and additional staffing at the Assessment and Intervention Center as part of the mayor’s comprehensive, holistic criminal justice reform strategy.

“Proposal 182 was based on engagement with community-based organizations, residents, councilmembers, and the nationally renowned New York University Criminal Justice Lab, which called for updated, data-driven strategies on how to schedule, inform, and deploy officers and establish better relationships between IMPD and the community.

“‘Over the last five years, the city has been squarely focused on data-based solutions to violence and programming that addresses the long-term, root causes of crime,’ said Mayor Hogsett. ‘As cities across the country also see alarming increases in gun violence, we must continue to seek innovative, localized solutions to tackling this multilayered issue. This set of investments is vital to continue moving those efforts forward.’

Data and Technology Investments

“The fiscal ordinance includes more than $1.5 million towards improving the efficiency of IMPD’s response to potential violent crime through investments in technology and data analysis. With the help of the Information Services Agency (ISA), situational awareness software will bring together information that is currently siloed, allowing IMPD to map priority locations at a micro level, down to specific blocks or properties. Once identified, this will allow IMPD and partners to focus resources, social services, and community engagement in those areas. The proposal also includes funding for enhanced data analysis software, storage, and personnel. 

“The City also worked with the Center for Policing Equity to track national statistics on police behavior and developed a checklist of data to collect and evaluate racial equity within IMPD. An officer intervention system included in this package provides an early warning when officers deviate from departmental standards.

“‘This is a critical step for IMPD as the department looks to continue streamlining information and resources,’ said IMPD Police Chief Randal Taylor. ‘These investments will also ensure IMPD has the most up-to-date data to use in our response and for analysis. IMPD remains committed to combatting crime and gun violence by using strategic and comprehensive solutions.’

Public Health and Community Programming Investments

“The package also contains nearly $1.8 million in non-law enforcement public safety investments, including the hiring of domestic partner violence prevention advocates who will work directly with victims. Funding will also go towards building out community organizations working to provide juvenile mental health and trauma resources.

“As part of the Hogsett administration’s larger strategy to prioritize diversion over the arrest of those experiencing mental health or addiction crises, the fiscal includes the addition of professional mental health expertise to the 911 dispatch system, as well as additional staff for the Assessment and Intervention Center, which diverts low-level offenders and evaluates clients’ health and social needs.

“‘Addressing violent crime requires community-based solutions,’ said OPHS Director Lauren Rodriguez. ‘By bolstering existing organizations’ efforts with a particular focus on intimate partner violence prevention, juvenile intervention, and mental health issues, we are able to empower grassroots leaders to make real and lasting change in their own neighborhoods.’

“In fall 2020, the City-County Council unanimously approved a 2021 budget that increased overall public safety funding, and notably boosted community violence reduction resources with a one-year addition of $1.25 million. The 2022 budget will be presented to the Council in August, along with the first major allocation of American Rescue Plan funding.”

News release from Mark Bode, communications director, Office of Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett

“INDIANAPOLIS: Tonight, the Indianapolis City-County Council passed Prop. 182 allocating millions more taxpayer dollars ‘to support a collective community approach to public safety.’ Unfortunately for Indianapolis, the reality is this proposal was not a ‘collective community approach.’ We ultimately voted yes on Prop. 182 because it was the only public safety proposal that the Democrat supermajority would allow to pass, the disappointing fact is this lacks the urgency and seriousness that our capital city needs to truly end this public safety crisis. As a sad reminder of the need for urgency, in the hour the city-county council was debating the proposal, (it was) reported 3 people were shot. The Mayor’s and Democrat Council’s policies are not enough and they lack transparency.

“The fact remains that Republicans, public safety experts, and community and faith leaders continue to be left out of the discussion. Tonight, we saw more of the same as the Democrat supermajority shut out law enforcement and Republican proposals including ‘a gunshot detection system and mobile and static license plate readers.’

“Indianapolis has seen historic rising violence for the last several years. During that time, millions of tax-payer dollars have been thrown at programs similar to what passed this evening with no proof of efficacy. Moving forward, Council Republicans will continue to hold the Hogsett Administration accountable for outcomes of these ‘public safety’ programs. While we voted for this tonight because it was the only option on the table that could pass, in the future we will not support additional funding that does not have transparency and accountability.”

Brian Mowery, Paul Annee, Josh Bain, Mike Dilk and Michael-Paul Hart, Republicans on the Indianapolis City-County Council