Proposed city budget includes IMPD spending boost, sheriff cut backs

IN Focus: Indiana Politics

UPDATE:

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett delivered a speech detailing his 2022 budget proposal during a City-County Council meeting Monday night. He unveiled an unparalleled amount of investments into efforts working to combat surging violence in Indy, specifically gun violence.

The city received roughly $420 million via the American Rescue Plan. It will come to the city in two installments. The city already received half of the sum this year and will receive the second half next year.

Monday night, Hogsett detailed a 3-year anti-violence strategy that puts $166 million toward law enforcement investments, community efforts and combatting root causes of crime. The American Rescue Plan money makes up about $150,000,000 of the total amount.

Below is the breakdown of the funding, with total amount over three years:

  • Community investments: $82 million
    • Group violence intervention programming and expansion to 50 peacemakers: $37 million
    • Anti-violence commuity grants: $45 million
    • Domestic violence: $250,000
  • Traditional law enforcement: $33 million
    • Expansion of non-sworn public safety officer unit: $4,500,000
    • 100 new IMPD officers: $19,500,000
    • Modern crime fighting technology: $9,000,000
  • Root causes: $51.5 million
    • Mental health programming: $30,000,000
    • Hunger relief: $6,000,000
    • Workforce development training: $5,000,000
    • AIC expansion: $3,000,000
    • Re-entry services: $5,500,000
    • Police Athletic League Programming: $2,000,000

The proposed budget can be found here.

This story will be updated with further information.

ORIGINAL STORY:

INDIANAPOLIS — Mayor Joe Hogsett’s proposed budget for 2022 has not yet been published on the City County Council’s agenda for Monday night’s meeting, but a close look at available documents and information from law enforcement sources indicate IMPD will see a significant boost in spending while the Marion County Sheriff is prepared to cut back on some of its services.

The absence of the mayor’s proposed budget, even though the presentation and a handful of spending proposal have been published, is distressing to Council republicans like Michael-Paul Hart.

“We haven’t actually been able to see in writing what the budget is or the proposal for the budget,” said Hart. “Its one of two things: either they’re still working on it and they don’t know or they’re withholding the information, both of which are not helpful to the city and the citizens of Marion County.”

Late Sunday night the mayor’s office indicated it had filed the ordinance with the Council on Friday though its budget book was still being finalized and printed.

Fox 59 inquired of the Council regarding the publication of the budget ordinance.

Last week, Hogsett dropped clues about his intentions to expand IMPD spending in the upcoming budget thanks to congressional approval of the American Rescue Plan last spring.

“The difference over what we’ve done over the last five-and-a-half years and what we may very well be able to do in the future is the result of $420 million coming to Indianapolis,” said Hogsett. “We need more than we currently have funded and that’s what I’m gonna talk about Monday evening.”

Hogsett said he will propose improvements to IMPD technology and manpower spending.

“We are trying to add more officers and have those officers focus almost exclusively on walking our neighborhoods and in the streets, not at a desk somewhere, so help is on the way,” said Hogsett.

Sources indicate the mayor will allocate enough money to hire 1843 Metro police officers, 200 more than are on the job today.

Law enforcement sources indicate the Marion County Sheriff will stop providing arrestee transportation from the scene of the crime to the jail, surrender control of emergency communications to a newly established oversight board and no longer staff the Eskenazi Health detention unit, placing more arrestee responsibilities and costs on local police departments.

Its expected the reduced services will free up budgets to approve raises for sheriffs employees and alleviate anticpated staffing shortages inside the new county jail which is set to open by the end of the year.

Last year Indianapolis and Marion County’s combined budget was almost $1.3 billion with IMPD and MCSO making up $384 million of that spending.

Other county criminal justice and public safety agencies, such as forensic services, the coroner, the courts and the prosecutor may see increased spending.

Of the $420 million ARP allocation, the Council will refer to committees Monday night budget proposals  to spend no more than $100 million on rental assistance and $206 million on COVID-19 relief, leaving more than $100 million to be spent on other city services and agencies.

“I’ve asked a lot of questions about spending those dollars and I’m looking at a lot of shovel ready projects that I think we should be spending those dollars on instead of bonding out and taking out debt to build them,” said Hart, one of only five republicans on the Council. “I’m told that we have to spend them on things that are directly impacted by COVID. How that relates to the public safety, I’m gonna be interested to find out.

“In those conversations that I did have with Ken Clark, the city controller, he was mentioning that there is a large initiative and a large amount of dollars that will go toward public safety.

“We have hundreds of millions of dollars in bonding coming up in this agenda, too, so not only are we planning a budget but we have to look and do our homework on how are we gonna take out these bonds and spend them and what are the contractual agreements on those as well and are those the right ways of spending those dollars.”

The Council will also refer to committee proposals to take over fire protection in Beech Grove, lease space for the Marion County Coroner and move ahead with Circle City Forward projects to improve parks, approve raises, bonus pay and incentives for city workers and enhance the Office of Public Health and Safety to oversee the Assessment & Intervention Center at the new Community Justice Center, create the Metropolitan Emergency Services Agency (MESA) to run emergency management, public safety communications and emergency dispatch, operations previously operated by IMPD and MCSO, while creating an emergency management board and emergency management advisory commission.

The proposed budget can be found here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Most Popular

Indy Now

Latest News

More News