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Community calls for a different kind of policing

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — One community leader believes Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is asking for too much and not doing enough in return, and he’s not alone. James Wilson, CEO of Circle Up Indy, said he does not believe in defunding police, instead he wants more money in the communities they serve.

One day after the department presented its $261 million budget to the city-county council, Wilson held an event to help people all across the city pay their bills.

“Why do they keep going forth to the council and just pitch a few little things and they get a million dollars and they’re sitting well and eating and we look around us and we’re doing just that, helping families,” said Wilson.

While Wilson loves the work he does, he doesn’t think he should be doing it alone. He said instead of IMPD asking for a $7.7 million increase in next year’s budget, they should be talking about ways to give back.

“Let me say it one more time, economic woes and disparities, tackle them,” said Wilson.

He said an increased effort in that area will lead to a decrease in crime everywhere, and crime was at the forefront of discussion for many councilors on Wednesday night.

“I want to see a game plan. What are we going to do to address the violent crime, the murders, the record-breaking violence we’ve seen since 2012. I want to know is this department complete?” councilor Jared Evans asked IMPD Chief Randal Taylor during Wednesday’s budget hearing meeting.

Taylor said that’s a problem that doesn’t yet have a solution.

“Before you could point to usually the drug trade having a majority of impact on those kind of numbers. Now we’re getting people killing each other over parking spaces and social media posts and all other things, so the problem is very different and to kill someone over a parking spot, I don’t know how to combat that just yet,” responded Taylor.

Several community members said even after hearing a breakdown of IMPD’s needs, they still don’t believe in funding police at all.

The budget will be voted on in October, from there it will go to the full council for approval.

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