Crime Watch 8

Republican City-County councilors call for more public safety meetings

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Mayor Joe Hogsett’s $3 million plan to address crime in Indianapolis is now in the hands of the City-County Council, but Republicans in the legislative group say they and other city leaders need to act faster.

On Wednesday, the Republican caucus of the City-County Council sent a letter to Leroy Robinson, head of the council’s Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee, and called on the Democrat to hold more meetings of the panel to address a rise in crime.

In a Wednesday night meeting, the committee voted to send Mayor Joe Hogsett’s safety plan to the full City-County Council with a recommendation for passing the spending measure. The mayor’s announcement of the measure came the same day the rank and file members of the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police voted unanimously to declare the city is in a crisis of crime, violence and confidence.

Hogsett’s plan calls for more than $2 million dollars to be spent on programs including what are called violence interrupters and community resources. Another $1.5 million would go to law enforcement technology. The council could approve the measure as early as the group’s next meeting in July; no one has publicly suggested meeting sooner as a way to address the growing violence.

Republican City-County Councilor Paul Annee, the minority whip, said the goal is mediation, a mark the city can’t afford to miss. “We acknowledge that we have not given solutions for today and that’s why we believe everybody has to come to the table,” Annee asid.

Republican Brian Mowery, the minority leader, said working together is the only way out. “My hope is that we actually see a better Indianapolis for the future, and we actually start curbing some of this violence because our city is in a state of crisis right now.”

It’s a crisis that Indianapolis police say is killing the city’s young people.

DeAndra Yates was at Wednesday night’s meeting. “According to the meeting last night, those that are being shot, murdered and injured are ages 20 to 29,” she said Thursday.

Yates’ life is forever changed because of gun violence; six years ago, her son was seriously injured in a drive-by shooting while he was at a birthday party. Today, she’s hopeful to see investments toward the issue being made, but said it’s going to take more than money.

“If you have a small gift or talent to bring to this, not one person, not one organization can solve this, so it’s a collective effort of us deciding to put egos aside and just link arms and see how we can be a better change for our city,” Yates said.

Both councilors told News 8 they have not heard back from Robinson about holding additional meetings. He did not respond Thursday to News 8 requests for comment.

Robinson declined to talk about the letter Wednesday night at the committee meeting because he had not yet seen it. He also said at Wednesday’s meeting that he had no issue with additional meetings and would consider the idea.

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