INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis community and city leaders did not hold back Wednesday night during a nearly four hour discussion about ways to curb gun violence in the Circle City.
The public safety and criminal justice committee voted to send Mayor Joe Hogsett's violence prevention funding plan to the full City-County council with a "do-pass" recommendation.
One concerned mother who was there spoke about almost losing her son to gun violence seven years ago. She hopes this plan isn't just scratching the surface of this growing crisis.
"Yes, I still have him, but to what capacity? Yes, he smiles. Yes, I can still see and touch him. But I don't have the child that I used to have," DeAndra Dycus said. "My son doesn't walk. He doesn't say, "Mom, I love you!" He's not driving, He barely went to his high school prom. My son is nonverbal, quadriplegic."
Because of this, it plays a major role in her fight to make Indianapolis safer.
"When it knocks on your door, you're kind of like, "Oh my God. My condolences. My prayers. My thoughts." But when it impacts you personally, you have a completely different lens," Dycus added.
Hogsett and other city officials said the more than $3 million investment will assist with reducing violent crimes, response times, advance data systems and help them reengage with the community, to name a few.
"It's abundantly clear that we have a violence problem in our city," IMPD Asst. Police Chief Christopher Bailey said. "This is our city and therefore we must confront our localized issues with local solutions."
For some people, they feel the proposal may have missed its mark.
"Why don't you all fix the problems in IMPD first? Go back to the table and scrap 182, and get the mayor's office to do some real criminal justice reform," One man said who came to voice his opinion at the committee meeting.
According to IMPD, so far this year, the city has had a total of 306 shootings. 87 of those were fatal. Bailey said victims and suspects are primarily between the ages of 20 to 29 and Black.
"It makes me have compassion for our Black men to a whole other level," Dycus said. "There's nothing we can do about the ones gone, but there is so much we can do to make sure there are not more added to that number."
Dycus added that she's not sure if this $3 million violence prevention plan is enough, but they have to start somewhere. And to her, it's well worth it in this fight to make Indianapolis safer.
The full City-County council is expected to discuss the violence prevention funding plan on July 12.