INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) –During his speech to the Indianapolis City-County Council on Monday, Mayor Joe Hogsett unveiled his 2022 budget proposal.
“I want to be clear,” Hogsett said. “While our community reels from the effects of this national trend, the impact of each and every one of these acts of violence has been devastatingly personal. Across this city, residents are justifiably angry at a culture of death that has been fueled by an oversupply of guns and a deficit of hope.”
“Indianapolis has experienced a tidal wave of gun violence that has swept across the United States, in no small measure as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic,” Hogsett added.
Hogsett’s budget totals $1.3 billion, and he says public safety is the top priority for the city. It’s why $150 million in American Rescue Plan Act money was aimed directly at public safety over the next 3 years. That’s on top of the city’s regular budget.
“The compassion we all feel is insufficient if it does not translate into change,” Hogsett said. “That is why the historical fiscal package I present tonight is aimed squarely at addressing the gun violence epidemic in our city.”
The city has a 3-year anti-violence plan that includes $45 million in anti violence community grants and $9 million in what the mayor calls crime fighting technology, such as community cameras, mobile trailer cameras with license plate readers in high-crime areas and gunshot detection.
“Tonight I am asking this council to fund an additional 100 police officers who will be assigned exclusively to community patrols,” Hogsett said.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Randal Taylor is confident the budget will make a noticeable impact.
“I definitely think it’s going to make a difference. I’ll be honest, I was excited hearing the amounts of money going not only to things IMPD is concerned with but things across the whole city. I think that’s the only way things change, when we join hands and work this thing together,” Taylor said.
There are also investments to address the root causes of violence . Mental health programs are set to receive $30 million over the next 3 years. That includes in-school mental health and violence prevention programming as well as support for juvenile detention and high risk homeless people. Another $6 million is going toward food access resources.
“This plan once implemented, will save lives,” Hogsett said.
The mayor’s office told News 8 the first City-County Council meeting about the proposed budget is Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. Then, they have until mid-October to finalize it.
“The 2022 fiscal package introduced tonight by Mayor Hogsett outlined bold investments designed to make Indianapolis a safer, healthier, more equitable city while providing the support needed for residents and businesses to continue an ambitious recovery from a tumultuous 2020. As the Council holds hearings on the proposed investments over the next two months, I look forward to discussing in detail plans to expand and improve affordable housing, mental health services, and neighborhood infrastructure as we target the root causes of inequity and violence. I want to thank Mayor Hogsett and his administration for their hard work crafting a budget that reflects our shared priorities and envisions an Indianapolis with an increasingly bright future.”
Indianapolis City-County Council President Vop Osili
“Tonight, Mayor Hogsett unveiled a package of unprecedented investments in public safety, one that I believe will stem the current tide of gun violence and help secure a peaceful future for all Indianapolis residents and our visitors. The proposals outlined by the Mayor and his staff offer a balanced approach that includes funding for both law enforcement and community-based strategies to reduce and prevent violence. As Chairman, I am personally eager for the Council’s Public Safety and Criminal Justice committee to learn more about the administration’s proposals to provide the resources IMPD needs to combat violence, expand gun violence intervention programming, establish a centralized emergency management system, make capital improvements within our public safety agencies, and more. I look forward to a thorough discussion with my Council colleagues on each of the initiatives presented this evening.”
Indianapolis City-County Councillor Leroy Robinson
“As usual, there has been limited communication from the Hogsett Administration to the Republican caucus about the mayor’s budget before the public presentation tonight. However, our goal in the coming weeks is to help craft a bipartisan budget that responsibly prioritizes public safety, economic development, infrastructure, and public health. It is our hope to make sure the city’s budget priorities are not simply throwing more money at many of the failed policies from the last several years. As Indianapolis faces crises from public safety, to infrastructure, to businesses leaving downtown, we hope to help craft a budget that we can all support and meets the needs of the moment.”
Indianapolis City-County Council Republicans
Minority Leader Brian Mowery, District 25
Paul Annee, District 23
Josh Bain, District 20
Mike Dilk, District 24
Michael-Paul Hart, District 18