IBJOpinion

EDITORIAL: Delegating mayor must lead on crime

IBJ Staff
July 13, 2013
Keywords
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
IBJ Editorial

Mayor Greg Ballard isn’t known as a hands-on leader.

His deputies have led efforts to add bike lanes, replace the city’s vehicle fleet with hybrids, and underwrite downtown developments like CityWay.

But simply setting a vision won’t work on crime. It’s time for Ballard to roll up his sleeves, put aside partisanship, and lead on the issue he promised five years ago would be “job one.”

There are no easy fixes for the ugly crime wave this summer. A toxic mix of poverty, unemployment, guns, drugs and desperation can’t all be bottled up and kept under control by more cops on the street.

But more must be done to keep the peace, particularly downtown, where large groups of unruly teens and Saturday-night shootings are putting at risk billions of dollars of public and private investment in the convention and tourism business. Every shooting on the Central Canal or outside Circle Centre mall erodes confidence.

The mayor’s staff points to statistics showing overall crime is down this year. That’s hard to believe given the only crime statistic that can’t be manipulated—the murder rate—is up more than 40 percent. But no matter: This is a perception game, and persistent impressions are left by high-profile incidents like the murder of a 16-year-old July 4 at one of the city’s busiest downtown intersections.

Most of Ballard’s “new” cops on the street are reassigned neighborhood resource officers. Promised future recruiting classes could add 100 officers by 2016, but that won’t even replace those expected to retire.

Ballard vetoed a $6 million allocation from Rebuild Indy funds to pay for new officers. Democrats on the City-County Council picked the number because it matches the amount Ballard is spending on an international sports park including cricket fields.

The mayor cited the need for a pay-as-we-go approach to public safety, arguing the city should use only dedicated, recurring funding sources.

That might sound fiscally prudent, but it’s less so when you consider how much Rebuild Indy money the city is spending on routine road maintenance, and how many dollars of public investment are riding on public safety. The city has borrowed endlessly via a downtown tax increment finance district to keep downtown’s momentum going with new projects.

If crime spirals out of control, the hotels won’t fill beds, the restaurants won’t seat tables, and the convention center won’t reserve its massive halls. And good luck with that bid for the 2018 Super Bowl.

Ballard should call together officials with IndyGo (which ferries many of the trouble-making teens downtown), Simon Property Group Inc. (which manages Circle Centre mall, where large groups of teens gather) and Indianapolis Downtown Inc. to discuss ways to keep crowds under control. And he should ask for help from Democratic Marion County Sheriff John Layton and the state police.

Marshal your resources and find new ones. All the freshly paved roads and bike lanes and new downtown apartments won’t matter much if the residents don’t feel safe.•

To comment on this editorial, write to ibjedit@ibj.com.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Reap. Sow. Bang. Bang.
    Indy leadership has been blinded by delusions of grandeur. They have earned nothing from places like Detroit and St. Louis, both of which have lost over 60% of their population over the last 50 years while investing ever more in downtowns that are doomed to fail. Meanwhile, cities like Portland, Minneapolis and Denver chose to invest in primarily in livability issues and neighborhoods. They are not crime free, but they are vibrant and safe in a way Indianapolis is not. The poverty that leads to violence doesn't just happen. It is a direct effect of a population that largely attempts to ignore and compartmentalize it. You reap what you sow, Indy. Deal.
  • Take care of your kids
    while it the role of city officials to keep things safe. It is the responsibility of parents to take care of their Children. There are plans in place, Now do your job and watch your kids.
  • Accountability
    Friends recently asked me to dinner downtown. I told them I couldn’t go as my Kevlar vest was at the cleaners. Parents can’t control their kids if they aren’t with them. Enforce parental control; no unaccompanied minors after 4 pm in the downtown area. Until parents are accountable and get their children under control, there’s no hope for the areas currently under siege. If a dog is running loose, creating a nuisance and picked up by animal control, the owner has to pay a fine. Hitting parents in the pocket might grab their attention.
  • crime effort
    Crime is not just about downtown and the murder rate. The increased crime rate has spread to as far north as castleton with broad ripple and glendale areas under seige. More police may not be the answer. But working everyday on the drug issue can be a huge solution. The mayor is clearly asleep at this wheel
  • Take care of your kids !
    While it is the job of city leaders to keep out streets safe. But it is the job of parents to keep watch of their kids. Use the race card or politics. Come on people. Take care of your own,

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Good Day I am Mr (Victoria Wright) from United state of America, i stayed in NEW YORK, and i have a broke up business, until i found this company email who help me to gain a loan for business,, and now i want to used this short medium to congratulate the below company for the fast and safe money they loan to me without any form of collateral, i loan 500,000USD from the company to save my business and lots more, i saw their mail on the internet, everyone always give testimony for what they did, so i quickly contacted them and they all did everything for me without stress and my money was sent to my account just 3 days later, i was surprise and i feel so glad, now i have a standard business control agent who help me, now i will advice those who need urgent loan to contact him at the bellow email:zenithfirm12@gmail.com

  2. NOTICE:This is to inform the general public that Vampires are real. My name is James Franklyn.,am an agent of vampire,am here to introduce our new world trend to you,a world of vampire where life get easier,we have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich,you will be assured long life and prosperity,you shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness,stronger and also very fast,you will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk.In case you are wildly oppressed by some unscrupulous persons we can still help you fight them.Your protection is assured immediately you join.Just contact the bellow email if you are interested we are here to attend to you anytime you want us. Contact the bellow email for more details. Email:vampirescreed@hotmail.com Sincerely: James Franklyn.

  3. Bravo! Someone else that is willing to speak the truth! Bravo!_____NBCSN is available in almost 2 MILLION more homes than just a few years ago, but Indycar STILL gets less total viewers than it did just a few years ago when NBC took over Versus. Attendance and ratings cratered with the end of season races (just when the title battle got "interesting" HAH!__________And now...new race in Basilia, where Miles celebrated the "rich history" of Indycar racing there. Rich history? What, 7 events in the 100 years of AOW? Yep, some history. Well, at least its an oval. It's not??? Are you kidding me??? Gosh darn road racin furriners.

  4. PURITY RAY LOAN OFFER........ Have you been denied by your banks,or are you in need of of an urgent loan to pay of your bills we are capable of giving loans @ cheaper rate to interested individuals, student, companies and members of the public in need of finance to settle bills, we do offer considerable loans which you can count on. For more information on our various types of loan,then you will have to contact PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM, to help you achieve your desire LOAN APPLICATION FORM TO BE FILLED BORROWERS INFORMATION * Full name:………………………. * SEX * ……………………………. * Country………………………….. * State:……………………………. * Land:…………………………….. * Occupation:…………………….. * phone number:…………………. * Telephone: ………………………….. * Age:………………………………. * Amount needed as loan:……… * Loan Duration:………………….. * Propose of Loan:……………….. * Annual revenue:………………… * Monthly Income:……………….. * Guarantee:………………………. * Payment: monthly or annually Email.....purityrayloanfirm@gmail.com Thank you and God bless Mr Purity Ray PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM we tend to serve you better

  5. Problem: most of the people responding to this article don't know about this service AT ALL! Why? Lack of awareness. This isn't IndyGo. This is CIRTA: might as well be the mattress company because they are asleep at the wheel - something like 3 directors over the last year? Playing with federal grant money is great! This "region" wants commuter rail service, has spent MILLIONS on Transportation studies yet can't even support a commuter bus line? This is largely for suburban riders to get to downtown - not for "service people to work in our hotels and restaurants" ! Get your head out of your backside!! These are professionals, students etc. that don't want to fight traffic, save some money on parking, gas, stress.... if CIRTA would put their federal money into widely promoting the sevive to Greenwood, Fishers & Carmel instead of finding directors and studies - this would be a successful service. Our family uses(d) it daily for the last several years - but the recent uncertainty & now unreliability due to cuts from Carmel has been a problem. Now, costs us an additional $350/month for gas & parking ( $4200/year) plus vehicle wear, service, environmental impact ... YES - this REGION needs this this type of service in order to keep growing and getting the people it needs to fill skilled positions in downtown Indianapolis. Think outside of your own car !!!

ADVERTISEMENT