Committee approves IMPD budget which funds hire of 155 new officers

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 30, 2015) - The city of Indianapolis saw another violent day Wednesday. There have now been more than 100 homicides. Ironically Wednesday the City County Public Safety Committee approved hundreds of millions of dollars in the city’s public safety budget, with a lot of that money going to fund IMPD.

“By the end of next year, we will have more police officers in this department than we’ve ever had, so that’s a good thing,” said Marion County Director of Public Safety David Wantz.

A good thing, considering Indy has seen more than 100 people murdered this year. Two people were shot and killed in less than 10 hours Wednesday.

Wantz was happy though to see the City County Council Public Safety Committee sign off on hiring 155 new officers Wednesday night.

“It’s not only reasonable, it’s something we intend to do and that’s why getting the numbers right matters so much to both parties in this,” he said.

“Just as important though is to give them the necessary tools that they need to do their job which are new police cruisers to be sure that they can go out to the range and do their firearms training,” said Councilwoman Mary Moriarty Adams (D – District 17), Chair of the City County Council Public Safety Committee.

The committee signed off on $4.7 million to fund new police cruisers and upgrades to IMPD training facilities. That proposal was vetoed by Mayor Greg Ballard two times because of where the funding was coming from. Republican City Councilmembers were weary Wednesday that the Mayor will say no to it yet again.

But committee members were in agreement Wednesday, that in order to cut down on the city’s growing number of homicides, funding for police is a must.

“The fact that the murder rate is getting earlier in the year is very alarming to us and that’s why it’s important to have boots on the ground, but that’s not the only solution to the problem,” said Adams.

The city’s public safety budget makes up for 70% of the overall budget, with $400 million going to IMPD and the Indianapolis Fire Department.

The budget now needs final approval from the entire city county council. That vote will happen on October 12th.

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