Faith leaders call for unified crime and policing plan

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Some local clergy and community leaders said they wish Mayor Joe Hogsett would have talked to them before releasing his crime reduction plan on Thursday.

Rev. Charles Harrison with the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition unveiled a series of public safety peace marches, the same day the mayor outlined changes to the city’s policing strategy.

Harrison said that’s a problem and the city needs one, unified plan.

According to the mayor’s office, violent crime is down but criminal homicides are up 40% and non- fatal shootings are up 24%.

The department is going back to community- based beats and increasing the number of beats from 78 to 106. Mayor Hogsett said you’ll soon begin to notice more officers out of their cars walking through neighborhoods.

Harrison said he reached out to the mayor’s office last week to set up a meeting to discuss ways to combat crime in Indianapolis neighborhoods.

He said he didn’t hear back until Thursday, but it was after he had already found out about the news conference.

Mayor Hogsett said it was honest miscommunication.

“I feel like before he launched that initiative there should have been a conversation with community leaders. There cannot be a city plan and a community plan and a police plan. We need one plan that everybody is a part of,” said Rev. Harrison.

“I returned a text to Reverend Harrison that he apparently did not see, agreeing to…in fact to the extent that there’s been a delay… I was waiting to hear from Reverend Harrison as to a convenient time that I could get together with the clergy that he wants to bring together,” said Mayor Hogsett.

Mayor Hogsett and Rev. Harrison plan to meet next Tuesday.

Harrison has two more peace marches scheduled this month, July 24 at 34th & Keystone at 7 p.m. and July 31 at 29th & MLK.