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Commission: IMPD seriously understaffed

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 28, 2014)– An IMPD staffing commission has approved its final recommendation spelling out how many police officers to hire and how to pay for them. The task force would like to see 400 officers hired over the next four years.

The new hires could be paid for through a combination of funding sources. Under the proposal property owners could be left footing the bill. The committee has proposed eliminating the local homestead tax credit over a four-year period and raising the public safety tax from .35% to .50% in 2014, taking effect in 2015.

Members would also like the city to apply for Federal COPS grants in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The cost to hire 400 new cops is about $2.00 per week for an Indianapolis household making $50,000 per year. Another recommendation would charge special events for using police resources.

The bi-partisan commission has been meeting since the beginning of this year. It is made up of five city-county councilors, the Fraternal Order of Police, Department of Public Safety, County Prosecutor and County Sheriff.

The report will be handed to the City-County Council to use during the upcoming budget process. Even if 400 officers are hired the department is expected to lose approximately 168 officers due to attrition during the years 2015 to 2018.

“I think the council and the mayor have to act and I think one of the best things we can do is to make sure we have the number that we need of IMPD officers to protect our neighborhoods,” said John Barth, City-County Council Vice President.