City-County Council VP On Mayor's Plan To Hire More Officers, Improve City Streets
INDIANAPOLIS -- Hiring more police officers and firefighters, as well as spending $47 million to improve the city's streets and bridges are among the items proposed by Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett (D) as part of his budget for 2019.
Hogsett says he plans to add 30 new police officers and 80 firefighters to make the city safer next year.
Zach Adamson (D), Vice President of the Indianapolis City-County Council, says the money to hire those additional officers and firefighters would come from the savings put into place over the past couple of years to free up debt in the city's budget to be spent on creating smaller, more targeted areas for "beats" that officers will be tasked with covering.
"We do know that the smaller areas that each officer has to work on seem to work better. The more officers we have, the smaller these beats will be," says Adamson.
The City-County Council also declared gun violence and violence crime in Indy a "public health danger" in order to be considered for additional federal funding to help curb the issue.
"The idea is that it could possibly free up or make available federal dollars or other grants around the country that pertain to public health issues, and declaring gun violence a public health issue [in Indianapolis] may open up some of those opportunities," says Adamson.
In addition, Mayor Hogsett's budget calls for $47 million dollars to be spent to improve the city's streets, bridges and other infrastructure, including the use of bonds to help pay for repairs. Adamson says he is in favor also using money to perform preventative maintenance on the roads.
"We will be taking better care of the existing infrastructure to prevent it from collapsing the way we've seen over the last year," says Adamson who says the city's Department of Public Works will identify cracks in the streets and bridges to seal now to stop any further decay from happening that may cost the city more money in the long term.
The City-County Council will vote on the Mayor's proposed 2019 budget in October.