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Crime will be major focus in 2022 Indianapolis budget, mayor says

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — As Indianapolis leaders struggle to curb crime in the present, they’re already discussing plans for the future.

Mayor Joe Hogsett said the when 2022 budget is presented to the City-County Council in early August, it will have a major focus on public safety.

In a normal year, Hogsett said the city’s budget is roughly $1.3 billon, but next year’s will be even bigger. So far Indianapolis has received half of its $419 million from the American Rescue Plan. The other $210 million will come in 2022, and the city can choose to add it all to the budget.

“Some of the restricted usages have been lifted so that, frankly, the $419 million can be used not exclusively — it has to be kind of COVID-related, but it’s not exclusively COVID relief,” said Hogsett.

IMPD Assistant Chief Chris Bailey said certain parts of the city’s crackdown on crime are paying off. He said during the first four months of the year, data showed nonfatal shootings were up 65% over the last year.

Bailey said based on current data, nonfatal shootings are still up, but now at 29%. He said the problem is far from solved.

“It’s nothing to celebrate. My point in telling this story was that the things that we’re doing, we’re hoping is pushing that needle down at least toward equilibrium,” said Bailey.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department can’t say for sure what’s making the biggest impact, but police believe getting guns off the streets has been a major step.

“We did a proactive detail downtown where we got eight guns off the street in a matter of several hours just down there,” said Sgt. Jose Navarro.

Navarro works in the Indiana Crime Gun Task Force and said last year through its various units, IMPD recovered 3,700 guns. This year, they’re on track to make a 20% increase.

“We’ve seized about 174 guns for the year, collectively. I believe IMPD has had over 2,400 guns for the year and then with all the violent crime task force teams and the violent reduction teams, it’s a little bit over 500, I believe. So, IMPD is doing what we can to combat this gun violence and so is Indiana Crime Gun Task Force,” said Navarro.

Next year’s budget will be presented to the City-County Council on Aug. 9. The council will then have two months to pass it.

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