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Democrats want more cops living in tough neighborhoods

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Democrats in Indianapolis today proposed using $1 million of Rebuild Indy funds to refurbish or construct rent-free housing for police and sheriff's deputies in high-crime areas.

City-County Council Democrats will officially introduce Safe Neighborhoods Now! on July 14 in hopes of testing whether the concept counters crime. The houses would be built on empty lots Councilor John Barth described as eyesores that decrease property values. Officers would have the option of buying the houses after living in them for two years.

A pilot program would be developed with Mapleton-Fall Creek Community Development Corp. in the Mapleton-Fall Creek neighborhood. The $1 million would fund five houses. A statement from party officials did not specify where the houses would be located.

“This proposal will be the cornerstone of the council’s plan to ensure IMPD and sheriff resources are where they are needed the most—close to home,” Council President Maggie Lewis said in a prepared statement.

Sheriff John Layton said in the statement that he backs the idea for its potential to support community policing, neighborhood preservation and better compensation for officers.

Democrats point out that 76 people have been murdered this year, the most at this point in the year since 2008.

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  • Too much per unit
    I agree with Madeofpizza, the cost per unit is twice what it should be since we aren't paying for the land, or at least very much for an unimproved lot. Or is it because certain council members own these lots and plan to strike it rich on the program? The houses shouldn't cost more than $100k to build or they will become targets themselves.
  • Idk
    I like the idea but 200,000 per unit is just to high.
  • Future purchase?
    I think the reporter should find out the details of the "future purchase" of the homes at the end of the rent free period. After so many contract fiascos the city has shown no ability to protect the taxpayer's money. What are the details of the option to buy and how is value fixed at that time? Details, details, details.
  • Emmitt Carney needs to be elected to replace John Layton
    Vote this November 4th for Emmitt Carney and replace the dysfunctional inept John Layton who cant even keep his department from accidently releasing prisoners which is VERY dangerous to our city and puts people's lives at risk.
  • Where the Dem's at?
    I would like to see where these Democrats live who proposed this idea? Guarantee none of them live in these "high crime" areas.
  • Bad idea
    If the police and sheriff's departments want to provide financial incentives to officers willing to live in high-crime areas that is perfectly acceptable. However, if public funds are going to be used to create rent-free housing, that housing should go to those who really need homes.
  • Go back to the drawing board
    Did anyone ask the officers or their families? Is the Sheriff or Safety Director going to move into one of these homes? While the concept is intriguing, why would an officer want to put himself/herself and their family deliberately in harm's way? They are already on call 24/7 and to ask them to live in the midst is too much. Hire more police officers. Put more officers on the street.

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