New mayor creates a plan for Indianapolis

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Joe Hogsett was sworn into office on Jan. 1, as the 49th mayor of Indianapolis.  On Jan. 2, he announced his 100-day plan to begin to handle the public safety crisis in the city of Indianapolis. During this announcement, Hogsett and Indianapolis Police Chief Troy Riggs outlined the agenda of the initiative. It will tackle five main challenges.

The first challenge involves focusing on six areas of Indianapolis where crime is widespread in a particular area at a particular time, firmly established and difficult to change. According to an article from the “Indianapolis Recorder,” this includes about 13.5 square miles of the city and is where 45 percent of the criminal homicides occur.

Hogsett directed Riggs to immediately begin community policing in the neighborhoods by assigning officers to those six specific areas. The officers will get to know the communities they patrol and the problems they face.

The second will involve federal, state and local law enforcement agencies working together to target the 1,400 plus individuals in the city with outstanding felony warrants relating to weapons or crimes against people.

The third item connects to the second. With the city’s federal partners, the team will establish a united homicide response team whose purpose is to solve not only the homicide itself, but to track and attack how the homicide originated. The fourth is to establish a real-time crime data center and to institute monthly law enforcement meetings between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and the community as a whole.

The fifth and final item in the plan is to incorporate all of Indianapolis into solving the safety problem, whether that means members of the public joining a neighborhood watch group or simply talking to an officer on his or her beat. Hogsett said that government and law enforcement alone cannot solve these problems.

In a recording of his announcement speech found on indypolitics.org, Hogsett said that he does not think that government and law enforcement alone can solve these problems.

“We are asking the people of Indianapolis to stand up, be counted and to step forward in the midst of this crisis of public safety,” Hogsett said. “We have to come together.”

Hogsett said he does not think that the public safety issue is going to be solved in 100 days, but he thinks it is a start. Assistant Professor of History and Political Science Laura Albright agrees.

“I think he’s absolutely right that in 100 days it’s very unlikely to stop all the criminals within the city,” Albright said. “But part of it’s public awareness, and I think he’s done a really good job at that and the fact that people know that crime is an issue. And so we have a real strategy to actually tackle it. Now, it’s overtime. Of course, it doesn’t all happen in one day, so how are they able to prevent crime from recurring.”

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