Mayor plans more than $3M in new spending on anti-violence efforts

  • Comments
  • Print

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett on Thursday announced a plan to spend more than $3 million on violence-prevention measures. The announcement comes after a spike in violent crime in 2020, including a record number of homicides.

The proposal, which requires approval from the City-County Council, will likely be presented to the Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee on June 9.

Under the plan, more than $1.5 million will be directed toward improving capabilities at the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

Another $370,000 will go to domestic violence reduction, $350,000 to mental health capabilities, $390,000 to juvenile intervention, and $680,000 to expand staffing capacity at the Assessment and Intervention Center

The IMPD investment includes $550,000 for “situational awareness and community interaction systems, for information-gathering and intelligence work;” $180,000 to “upgrade internal technology infrastructure and hardware;” $620,000 to “enhance, analyze, and increase staff levels for data work;” and $170,000 “for an officer intervention system, to increase accountability.”

IMPD Chief Randal Taylor emphasized the importance of “good data” for the department to be more proactive about stopping violence before it happens. The officer intervention system is designed to provide the department with an early warning and accountability if an officer deviates from the police department’s orders and standards.

“While we cannot snap our fingers and stop the violence, I do believe these changes represent important progress in keeping our community safe, and I look forward to seeing those results,” Taylor said.

Officials said the funding also helps address underlying issues of violence, such as mental health, trauma and abusive relationships.

Hogsett emphasized the challenges and stress that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to individuals, and the resulting mental health impacts.

“The city must work now to provide residents with the resources and support that they need to cope with the stress, the trauma and the pain that no doubt will outlast this pandemic. ” Hogsett said.

Hogsett said that the investments will not create instantaneous change, but rather provide a support to communities. He urged residents to reach out and connect to others around them.

Lauren Rodriguez, director of the city’s Office of Public Health and Safety, said the investment is needed to address domestic violence reduction and juvenile intervention.

It “includes additional assistance to our young people,” Rodriguez said. “Recognizing that mental health issues and trauma are not just adult issues. Left unaddressed, the challenges facing our city’s youth can lead to unhealthy, dangerous and sometimes deadly outcomes.”

The administration said the plan “is the result of nearly a year’s worth of engagement with national best practices and community stakeholders, building upon the Hogsett administration’s dynamic approach to violence prevention over the past five years.”

Indianapolis recorded 245 homicides in 2020 and is on a similar pace in 2021.

Five Republican members of the City-County Council issued a statement after Hogsett’s announcement that said they weren’t asked for input in the mayor’s funding plan.

“Unfortunately, after a quick reading, much of what was announced today seems to be throwing more money at some of the same programs that clearly are not working, the statement said. “If the Mayor and Council Democrats want to get serious about reducing the historic levels of violent crime in Indianapolis, it is time we get all interested parties to the table to begin to work on a solution.”

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

12 thoughts on “Mayor plans more than $3M in new spending on anti-violence efforts

    1. 1. The gangs in Indy aren’t even shooting people over drugs, they are shooting people to get clout on social media.

      2. Black markets cause more violence and kill more people than any drug itself ever will. All drug prohibition does is create black markets, which can’t be regulated, can’t be stopped, and will cause an escalation of violence. This country’s view on drugs is the same level of asinine as its view on stopping terrorism; apparently leveling entire countries in the Middle East is totally not going to radicalize more people. The “war on drugs” and the “war on terror” aren’t about protecting us, they’re about controlling us.

  1. The socio-economic condition that most strongly correlates with the amount of crime in a neighborhood is the percentage of households headed by single mothers. Maybe starting the process of undoing the high level of cultural dysfunction we have in that regard would be a smart move, even if we don’t see the benefits for awhile.

  2. It’s funny how it’s the Republicans complaining about a plan that will increase IMPD funding.

    Youth outreach programs don’t do anything in the short term for stopping violence. The counsel Republicans can complain all they want about throwing money at programs that “haven’t been working” for “years”, but it will take at least another 10-15 years to know the effect of these programs. There were never 5-year-olds shooting people for clout on social media.

  3. What total b.s. Hogsett is a coward and a buffoon. The way to reduce violence (are you listening Joe) is to get the bad boys and girls off the streets. You know, like arresting and prosecuting them. Joe, and that Marxist prosecutor we have now, are too afraid of offending their minority voter base to do the right thing. Here’s a radical suggestion: prosecute any person that uses a gun in commission of a crime to the fullest extent of the law. Aggressively seek maximum sentences. It’s been done before and works like a charm…not like this other nonsense their proposing now. Might as well flush the $3M down the toilet.

  4. Peak Democrat. There is no problem that can’t be solved by throwing (other peoples’) money at it, along with some virtual signaling. How about if Pothole’s voters stopped canonizing criminals and their culture?

    1. Aren’t you the same people complaining that the police should get more funding? Guess what? IMPD receives multi-million dollar increases EVERY year, including in this new budget proposal. So, as long it is something you like, you’re cool with “throwing (other peoples’) money at it? And, what “other people’s money?” Does that mean you don’t pay taxes? Because the rest of us do, including myself who paid just in income taxes alone, not counting all the other taxes I pay, paid $81,292 last year. You’re welcome.

  5. Wait, I’ve got a better idea! Let’s take the $3M and pay it out in bonuses to the IMPD street cops. They deserve it, particularly after what they’ve had to put with from this inept Hogsett administration.