INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Mayor Joe Hogsett said police will target hundreds of criminals over his first few months in office as part of a public safety plan he outlined Saturday, during his second day on the job.
Hogsett said there are more than 1,400 people on the streets of Indianapolis with outstanding felony warrants for their arrest.
“It’s time they were brought to justice,” he said.
Hogsett said officers will make a series of busts over the next 100 days to put some of them in jail. He said local, state and federal agencies will work together on the initiative.
“One area that I feel very comfortable in is probably the single most important thing that the people in the city of Indianapolis need right now, and that’s public safety,” Hogsett said.
He announced the plan at a news conference, where he also said he’s adding beat patrol officers to the city’s six high crime focus areas. He said those officers will get to know the communities they patrol and the problems they face.
Hogsett said he’s geographically expanding four of the six focus areas.
“One hundred forty four homicides is record-setting and way too many,” he said.
Before the news conference, Hogsett — himself a former federal prosecutor — held a meeting with local, state and federal law enforcement to discuss his plan. During the news conference, he stood side by side with law enforcement agents and expressed unity among the agencies.
Rev. Charles Harrison, of the Ten Point Coalition, said on Thursday that the meeting could send the wrong signal. Harrison pointed out that police departments across the country are facing increased scrutiny.
“I’m not for sure where the community is in this,” Harrison said. “If this is not handled correctly and with community support, then something could erupt, and we’re dealing with more than just a homicide problem in this city.”
Hogsett, on the other hand, said local police will meet with community members at least once a month.
“Give us some time,” Hogsett said at the news conference. “Wait and see what our results are and make your judgments accordingly.”
Hogsett also plans to implement a real time crime center and create a new homicide response team. He said his plan can work under the current city budget.