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Mayor Hogsett's plan to address gun violence receives pushback by some

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Posted at 12:26 AM, Jun 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-08 04:23:50-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Last week, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced major violence prevention investments, targeted at factors driving gun violence in city neighborhoods.

It's a $3.3 million investment that was announced right before a violent weekend in Indianapolis. At least 17 people were shot, six dead, in shootings since Friday afternoon.

Right after the city announced this plan, the Fraternal Order of Police called Indianapolis a city in crisis, releasing their own demands on how they think the violence can be combated — and they're not the only group pushing back against it.

"Don't plan for us without us," Toby Miller, Community Response Team Co-Chair said.

Miller serves as a liaison between community advocates, the city and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. He feels that the plan, although there was some community input, didn't do enough to include all voices.

"It was not connected to the grassroots," Miller added. "I think that's where we need to have authentic communication, relationships and I think, what we're hearing from the community, that is missing."

One of the biggest points of contention for Miller and other community advocates is the amount of money being given to law enforcement.

About $1.52 million will go to help them with staffing, helping them connect with people most likely to commit or experience violence, along with creating a program that would provide warnings for officers who deviate from IMPD standards.

The other $1.79 million will go to programs Miller believes came about because of community input.

"I will give them some credit," he said. "They did adjust some of their proposals to start to deal with youth, interruption and mental health, and increase resources for crime prevention."

However, Miller explained to truly address and cut down on the amount of violence in the city, he believes leaders will have to dive deeper, creating programs that focus on trying to undo the trauma so many communities have endured for years.

"If you want to have systemic, institutional, transformational change, you've got to have a transformational kind of investment and you need to look at things in a comprehensive manner," he said.

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