INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The City-County Council has approved the 2020 Indianapolis-Marion County budget.
The budget includes significant funding increases for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Indianapolis Fire Department, community crime prevention grants, and the arts, without raising taxes.
FOX59 spoke with IMPD Chief Bryan Roach, who said this budget is encouraging and shows him the agency is moving in the right direction.
“It’s a marathon and not a sprint,” Chief Roach said. “So, knowing that we’re funded, knowing that the council and the mayor’s office is behind us is one less thing to worry about, and so we can continue to focus on the violence that’s occurring.”
Chief Roach said the budget allows for more officers on the agency’s roster.
“It means that we will have 1,734 police officers, which is the largest number of officers that we have ever had in the agency,” Chief Roach said.
The budget also allows officers to patrol smaller geographical areas of the city as they continue their beat policing efforts. Plus, Roach said there’s $1.2 million in the plans for body cameras.
“There’s also funding for people in the back offices that do the redaction and look at the software,” Chief Roach explained. “So soon, we will put together a committee, and we will discuss pros and cons and everything that we’ve learned over that pilot project. It’ll be up to the mayor to decide how we move forward.”
IFD Chief Earnest Malone also told FOX59 the passed budget will put his department’s personnel numbers in a good spot.
“The 2020 budget will allow us to, for the first time in many years, fully staff our apparatus every day,” Chief Malone said.
Chief Malone added that a fully staffed department means more safety for the community too.
“Through the course of the last few years, we’ve run a number of pieces of equipment with less than four people on it, and anytime we do that, that means people are working harder,” Chief Malone explained. “Injuries can occur, and we always want to put our best foot forward for our community.”
Chief Malone also said the money could be used for more fire stations too.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett issued the following statement regarding the 2020 budget:
“I want to applaud President Vop Osili and Council leadership for their work to facilitate a robust conversation around the 2020 budget.
Thanks to overwhelming bipartisan support by the city-county council, this budget will support a comprehensive community-based violence reduction strategy, invest in public safety communications technology including $1.2 million for body cam deployment, and fund $117 million in road, bridge, and sidewalk infrastructure projects. Further, the 2020 budget will uplift our neighbors in need through substantial programming aimed at addressing food security, homelessness, mental health, and addiction.
Tonight’s bipartisan vote is the latest confirmation that our city is best served when we prioritize taxpayer-friendly policies and neighborhood investments over political games and partisan politics.”
We just spoke with @IMPD_Chief who says the passing of this budget is encouraging they are moving in the right direction. He says this money means a larger police officer roster and more beat policing. pic.twitter.com/Tu3vN7Mck6
— Courtney Crown (@CrownJournalist) October 14, 2019
City-County Council President Vop Osili released the following statement:
I’m pleased with the outcome of the Council’s vote this evening on the 2020 budget for the City of Indianapolis and Marion County. Four years in a row, Mayor Hogsett has presented a fiscally responsible budget that invests strategically in our city’s infrastructure, public safety, and criminal justice reform. The 2020 budget adopted tonight by the Council includes significant increases in funding for IMPD, IFD, community crime prevention grants, and the arts. It does so without raising taxes.
I want to thank Mayor Hogsett and his administration for their diligent work on the budget proposal and their responsiveness to the Council’s priorities, including a 25-year commitment to addressing food insecurity in Indianapolis neighborhoods. This first-ever commitment will benefit our city’s residents for generations to come, and my colleagues and I welcome the opportunity to engage with our neighbors on this important issue. In addition, the Council is making a new investment in its capacity to provide a greater level of service to constituents in all 25 Council districts, something we will continue to review as results from the IU Public Policy Institute’s research on the Council becomes available. Members of the Council have spent the past two months doing their due diligence, reviewing every aspect of this budget to ensure Indianapolis residents get the best value for their tax dollars. I am thankful for their hard work and dedication.