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City commits $750K to downtown Indianapolis recovery

Posted at 2:15 PM, Aug 19, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — The city announced it is committing $750,000 to help recover downtown Indianapolis.

Some downtown business owners have been sharing their grievances about the conditions in their area for months. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett says he's trying to help.

A plan developed by the "Downtown Recovery Committee" will dedicate the money to financial help, public safety, and public health of the downtown area.

The measures being taken by the committee go beyond cleanup and beautification in achieving this level of sustainability for downtown Indy residents and businesses.

The money will boost the number of cameras in the area to 150. And those street-level security cameras can be expected on both commercial and residential properties, according to Sherry Seiwart, the president and CEO of "Downtown Indy, Inc." Mobile cameras will also be placed in crime "hotspots" by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

The committee also plans to launch the "Downtown Indy, Inc.'s Safety Ambassador" program, which will employ civilians and cadet police officers to offer more security. Aside from safety ambassadors, there will also be increased foot and bike patrol by IMPD officers downtown.

"Today's announcement demonstrates a solutions-based response as we navigate the dramatic impact that COVID-19 is having on our downtown and community," Seiwert said. "What inspires me most is the can-do attitude and resilience of downtown business leaders large and small, along with motivated and passionate residents who seek to position downtown for recovery and a steady and measured return to our position of strength."

The Recovery Committee's president, Lacy Johnson, also addressed that there would be additional support for people who are experiencing homelessness in the downtown area as part of the process.

"Our Recovery Committee remains incredibly focused on additional areas needing immediate response," Johnson said. "We will continue to seek additional funding to augment outreach for the unhoused, enhance cleanliness, trash removal, and beautification, activate our downtown and to re-shape the narrative that Downtown is ready for your business – all balanced with appropriate COVID-19 precautions."

The Recovery Committee says they are focused on making sure downtown Indy is seen as a safe and beautiful environment.