Commission says IMPD ‘seriously understaffed’

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A report was approved on Monday that provides an action plan to hire more IMPD officers to better protect Indianapolis.

The Indianapolis City-County Council’s bipartisan study commission’s report calls for the addition of 400 new police officers. The force would add 100 officers a year in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. The council’s vice president said after reviewing all of the data, they concluded IMPD is “seriously understaffed.”

The commission say it’s reviewing financing options and recommends that funding of the new officers be achieved by the following:

  • Applying for Federal COPS grants for the years 2015, 2016, and 2017
  • Eliminating the COIT Homestead Credit by phasing it out over a four year period starting in 2015, thus minimizing the impact to schools
  • Raising the Public Safety Income Tax from .35% to .50% in 2014 to take effect in 2015.
  • The cost to hire 400 new cops is about $2.00 per week for an Indianapolis household making $50,000 per year.

Commission members say adding new officers is a priority for neighborhood safety, but will recommend minimizing the financial impact on residents, a release said.

The commission suggests Mayor Ballard and the City-County Council use new funding methods like having fees for special events, requesting voluntary payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) from large non-tax paying, non-profit entities, like universities or seeking authority from the General Assembly for a commuter income tax that could be used for public safety.

Mayor Greg Ballard released the following statement Monday evening:

“For three consecutive years I have asked the City-County Council to provide more funding to hire additional IMPD officers, but they have refused.  I will give serious thought to any proposal that emerges from the Council process.”

 

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