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Hogsett introduces $400 million plan, large focus on anti-crime initiatives

Posted at 10:31 PM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-10 13:26:58-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett introduced a proposed $400 million fiscal package during Monday's City-County Council meeting. The plan starts in 2022 and will last several years.

A large portion of the proposed plan focuses on crime reduction initiatives. Hogsett said the package aims to meet the moment and "create a transformative change with investments."

There are no proposed tax increases for the proposals.

Crime prevention

Hogsett introduced a more than $150 million three-year funding plan to invest in what he called "unprecedented" anti-crime initiatives.

"Indianapolis has experienced a tidal wave of gun violence that has swept across the US, in no small measure as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic," Hogsett said. "While our community reels from the effects of this national trend, the impact of each of these acts of violence has been devastatingly personal. The acknowledgment of pain felt by those scarred by violence is meaningless without action."

The proposal includes the following:

  • $9 million over the next three years for crime-fighting technology, like cameras, license plate readers, digital evidence software, a 360-degree virtual training system and gunfire detection pilot program
  • Fund an additional 100 sworn police officers who will be exclusively assigned to community patrols
  • 22 new civilian public safety officers who will focus on non-emergency situations
  • 50 peacemakers trained to assist police officers, prevent conflicts and expand group violence intervention policy work
  • $45 million in grants over the next three years for local community organizations and groups helping reduce violence in neighborhoods
  • $30 million over the next three years for mental health programming
  • $10 million for re-entry, domestic violence services, training and youth programming

"This plan, once implemented, will save lives," Hogsett said. "This plan, once funded, will make our city safer. And perhaps just as critically, this plan, once approved, will provide much-needed hope to residents in neighborhoods across our great city. They deserve it."

Other proposals

  • $20 million for continued development and preservation of affordable housing
  • More than $40 million for other housing and neighborhood redevelopment efforts
  • More than $22 million for small business support, workforce development and economic recovery programming
  • A three-year $17.5 million plan to upgrade and invest in parks
  • $25 million for the third phase of Circle City Forward to invest in greenways and trails projects
  • $3.5 million in funding for arts and cultural programming and direct grants for the creative sector
  • $12 million for the first city-constructed low-barrier shelter and comprehensive services facility
  • Introduced a proposal to partner with the state to add up to $100 million to the rental assistance program
  • $50 million for projects to prevent flooding and repair streets
  • $6 million to invest in neighborhood-led solutions and continue to support major partners fighting food insecurity

Responses

Councilors and local leaders have released statements in response to the mayor's proposals. You can read them below.

City-County Council President Vop Osili, D-District 11:

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.

City-County Councilor Leroy Robinson, D-District 1, and chairman of the council's Public Safety and Criminal Justice committee:

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.

City-County Republican Councilors: Minority Leader Brian Mowery, District 25, Paul Annee, District 23, Josh Bain, District 20, Mike Dilk, District 24 and Michael-Paul Hart, District 18:

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.

When Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Randal Taylor was asked after the meeting how quickly the changes will impact things like the rising homicide rate, he said it depends on the community.

"Our officers are doing everything that they can, we will continue to do that, we've got some great plans moving forward, but like I said before, it's going to take all of us to make these changes, you know," Taylor said. "People killing people, we can look at it a lot of different ways, you can look at it from the standpoint of the pandemic, we can look at from hopelessness and those things, those are things that the whole community are going to have to get behind. I think the sooner we do that, the sooner we'll start to see those numbers start to go down"

Overview of the budget

City Controller Ken Clark presented additional information to the council about the mayor's proposed budget. You can watch it below.

Overview presentation of Indianapolis mayor's proposed 2022 budget

WRTV Producer Tia Broz contributed to this report.