KOKOMO, Ind. — Kokomo is a traditional democrat stronghold, but the city just elected a new republican mayor, Tyler Moore.
Moore won with more than 65% of the vote and his first action once he takes office is to tackle crime.
"I know there’s a rumor that a lot of that is coming from the Chicago area, but crime exists everywhere. There are bad players that are from Kokomo that have been in Kokomo that need addressed as well," Mayor-elect Tyler Moore said.
One rumor proven to be true is Kokomo residents want change.
"There was really more of a public outcry to address some of the increase in violent activity here in Kokomo," Moore said.
Moore says to address the problem they have to get boots on the ground. He wants to expand the police department by bringing in new leadership and more officers.
"They haven’t been able to be more proactive. They have spent most of their time being reactive or not being able to address some of the activity they’ve seen do to the lack of numbers and resources," Moore said.
Recently church leaders adopted the TenPoint model in Kokomo; an organization dedicated to reducing violence, increasing employment and enhancing educational opportunities.
Church leaders and community members have been working to get the program started; an initiative Moore stands behind.
"Shows the community is ready to assist in taking action using TenPoint as a supplement as you will to the police department to help police the neighborhoods that have the higher reported activity," Moore said.
He says the uptick in violence is disturbing and concerning.
He says instead of sweeping this issue under the rug; city officials must tackle it head-on and acknowledge there's a problem.
"The current administration worked to dispel a lot of that but as we walked neighborhoods and talk to folks there was a great concern that the amount of crime activity had increased," Moore said.
Moore will be finishing up his duties as a Howard County Commissioner and will take office as mayor at the beginning of 2020.
He’s already talking with retired law enforcement and figuring out a strategy on how to expand the Kokomo Police Department.