Ballard Vetoes Council Proposal to Hire More IMPD Officers
Mayor Ballard has vetoed the plan passed by the City County Council Democrats to hire police officers with Rebuild Indy funds.
The council passed the proposal earlier this month which would have allowed money from Rebuild Indy to be given to the Department of Public Safety in order to recruit, hire and train new IMPD officers. It would have also created the Police Recruiting Fund which would have received $6 million immediately if Ballard and signed the proposal into law.
Ballard and other Republicans object to the use of one-time capital funds for operating expenses. In a statement, the mayor said, "In the next few weeks, my team, lead by Public Safety Director Troy Riggs and Police Chief Rick Hite, will release a plan to move 100 officers from desk jobs to the street in a responsible manner that will help reduce crime and does not add to our budget deficit.”
City-County Council President Maggie Lewis expressed her disappointment in the veto. "This veto comes as Indianapolis is in the middle of an escalating wave of violent crime. To date, we have seen little action from the mayor as he instead spends his time on misplaced priorities including a cricket stadium and international travel," Lewis said. "The mayors plan has only been put forward after Council Democrats took action to hire 60 new officers and comes a long six years after his pledge to make public safety a priority. With this proposal, the leadership of the City-County Council offered a clear plan to quickly get more police officers on our streets. We regret that the mayor continues to focus on his own misplaced priorities rather than on the highest priority of our residents - public safety."
The council will have a chance to override the veto, but will need 20 votes to do it. The proposal initially passed by a vote of 15-10.
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