Make your home page

Beech Grove mayor advocates for public safety: ‘Crime is out of control’

BEECH GROVE, Ind. (WISH) — Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley is advocating for public safety.

He says Marion County leaders are not doing enough to curb crime.

Mayor Buckley, a Democrat who declined to seek a fourth term in office this year, says there’s a huge burden on local law enforcement and 911 dispatchers because of staffing shortages.

He says county leaders need to take action and address these issues.

“Crime is out of control and it’s being pushed out to the suburbs of Marion County,” Buckley said.

Buckley is fed up with what he calls the lack of public safety improvements in Marion County.

He has a message for the Indianapolis City-County Council.

“You should address the Mayor’s office with the change of accountability at IMPD and demand answers. It’s that bad,” he said.

For months, he’s been reaching out to council members to help address major safety concerns like a staffing shortage at the 911 communications center, but he says there’s been a lack of response.

“Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. there were 13 911 calls on hold for over 18 minutes. How is that acceptable to anybody? Are you kidding me?”

“Something terrible could happen to you or to whoever the person is, so that’s my concern and it affects the people that live in the city of Beech Grove and that is my priority,” Buckley said.

Buckley says Indianapolis officials invest thousands of dollars in public safety, but it’s not enough.

He says there should be higher salaries for officers and overtime for supervisors and managers at the 911 communications center.

“The City-County Council has the leverage to pay higher wages and benefits to these men and women who serve as police officers, sheriff’s deputies, and those men and women who work in the communications office. It’s a shame,” Buckley said.

News 8 reached out Friday evening to the president of the Indianapolis City-County Council, Vop Osili, but has not yet received a response.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office says it has no comment at this time.

Mayor Buckley adds that the public safety wheel is falling off and that it’s alright to ask for accountability.