Neighborhood watch groups eye the mayor’s budget

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– As Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard gears up to unveil his budget proposal Monday, neighborhood watch group spoke out about what they hope is in the budget: money for more police officers.

“You have one officer to cover so much area, it’s totally impossible!” said Karen Risk, who lives on the north side and is a street representative in her neighborhood watch group.  “That’s why we have to do a lot of stuff ourselves.”

Risk told Fox 59 News that she wants to see Ballard invest more heavily in public safety, echoing the call made one week earlier by Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry.

In a letter written to Ballard, Curry called the public safety situation in the Circle City a “crisis.”  Ballard has since responded by saying the situation is manageable and will be aided by a new police recruit class in 2014.

In the middle sit Risk and fellow volunteer Matt Winston.

“I personally pay for an alarm system. Other people pay for weapons. Other people pay for say a dog in their house to prevent crime.  All of this costs us money,” Winston said.  “So the answer is, would I rather spend a few dollars more per citizen to have the city provide protection, which is what they’re mainly for, or do I say I’ve gotta protect myself because I can’t count on the city?  I like Indianapolis. I don’t want to have to say that.”

Ballard presents his budget to the City-County Council in the City-County Building on E. Washington Street at 7 p.m.

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