Council Republicans to introduce proposal to study violent crime in Indianapolis

Indianapolis Republicans on the City-County Council plan to introduce a proposal later this month that would create a study commission on violence and crime in the city.

The five-member Republican Caucus announced the proposal on Friday morning following what it said was “another year of near-record breaking crime and violence.” The caucus is expected to formally introduce the proposal on Jan. 27.

IndyStar reported earlier this month that 154 criminal homicide cases were investigated by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department in 2019, five fewer than in 2018, when there was a record 159 homicide cases. The Star reported that while the number of homicide cases was lower than in 2018, there were 524 non-fatal shooting victims in the city last year, up from 492 the year prior.

The measure, which is sponsored by all five Republicans members of the council, calls for a bipartisan study commission that includes experts in criminal justice, law enforcement, education and community members who would recommend policy changes to “advance the cause of reducing violent crime in Indianapolis.”

Republicans also want the commission to look at the impact of crime and violence on the city’s black community.

“When 30% of the population is more than 75% of the murder victims, something is wrong, and we cannot allow this to continue,” Minority Leader Brian Mowery, who represents District 25, said in written comments.

“This proposal is a bipartisan opportunity to make a meaningful, long-term reduction in violent crime. We need a comprehensive city-wide study of resources spent to combat crime and which policies are working and, more importantly, which are not and why.”

Council President Vop Osili, a Democrat, was not immediately available to comment on the proposal. IBJ also has reached out to Mayor Joe Hogsett’s office for comment.

Violent crime was a key issue in last year’s mayoral election, in which Republican state Sen. Jim Merritt, who lost the election, was critical of Hogsett’s response to four years of homicide increases.

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