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IMPD outlines reason for 2021 budget increase, some community members against it

Posted at 11:19 AM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-10 11:19:52-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department presented its 2021 budget to members of the City-County Council's Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee Wednesday night.

IMPD is asking for a $7.7 million increase in funding.

Here's a look at the breakdown of where those dollars would go:

  • $2.7 million would be used for body cameras, leases, and legal settlements.
  • About $1.1 million would be used for vehicles and equipment.
  • The largest portion, $3.3 million, would cover personnel costs — including the full funding of 1,743 officers.

IMPD Deputy Chief Valerie Cunningham says the recruiting of new officers is vital to improving racial equity within the department.

"The classes that we are recruiting, the diversity within those classes, the younger officers, the diversity of thought that goes along with it, is your reform of this profession," Cunningham said. "Without the opportunity to aggressively recruit, with a commitment that we are going to hire, that we are going to continue to bring new people onto this agency and onto this department ... that is the biggest impact for racial equity."

Several community members spoke out against the proposal, saying it does not address the actual concerns of the community.

"The number one claim for your budget is diversity in recruitment ... not measurable or enforceable," one Indianapolis resident said at the meeting.

Another Indy resident said, "Just this year, IMPD murdered three people in less than eight hours, seeing a budget that has an increase in over $7 million does not reflect the need for changed behavior; it just increases gear technology and surveillance for the community which is not what the community is asking for."

The committee will vote to approve the budget in October; after that, it will go to the full council.