‘Critical new efforts’: More than $3M to be invested in anti-violence efforts in Indianapolis

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INDIANAPOLIS — Local leaders announced a more than $3 million investment to address public safety in Indianapolis. It’s part of the effort to combat the rise in homicides and non-fatal shootings in what is shaping to be the deadliest year on record in the city’s history.

According to the administration, this is “the result of nearly a year’s worth of engagement with national best practices and community stakeholders.”

Mayor Joe Hogsett laid forth how some of the investment will be spent:

  • $370,000 towards domestic violence reduction
  • $350,000 toward boosted mental health infrastructure
  • $390,000 toward juvenile intervention
  • $680,000 to expand staffing on community justice center staffing

Along with the public safety investment, there will be a focus on working to dispel mistrust between police and communities of color, according to Mayor Hogsett.

“Accountability will form the basis of that trust,” said Hogsett. That includes an early detection system to identify IMPD officers not following protocol.

Hogsett said he acknowledges and recognizes that “these investments do not represent a magic wand that will suddenly defeat the challenges we face.”

He credited a large part of the violence and tension surrounding Indianapolis to two things. One being the city and IMPD have a long way to go to “earn the trust of every resident.” The other was the pandemic contributed to a sense of heightened stress and providing resources to help combat that stress.

Lauren Rodriguez, the director of the Office Public Health and Safety, says the investment will go a long way toward helping victims of domestic violence, which includes establishing a domestic violence interrupters program.

“This investment will make possible a more active, direct approach to help individuals escape abusive relationships.”

IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said the funding will help IMPD analyze and assess data, but he also once again stressed that IMPD “cannot stop violence by themselves.”

Hogsett echoed the sentiment, “I hope that residents also look to each other for solutions and support. Even the best funded city program cannot reach everyone. Even the most appropriate mental health commitment will take time.”

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