Mayor, council tussle over IMPD funding
Last Updated: 62 days ago
INDIANAPOLIS - Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and city-county councilors agree more police officers are needed -- just not how to fund them.
On Saturday, elected officials mixed with Circle City Classic tourists, pondering how to afford another 80 officers they say are needed.
"Whenever I hear about, 'We need more officers,' or cuts come around … cuts need to happen other places than the police force," said Jake Wright, a downtown resident. "It's an essential part of our government. It's an essential part of feeling safe."
The legislature is also wrestling with raises for police and firefighters. Ballard has suggested doing away with the homestead tax credit, while some city-county councilors want the money to come from other funds, like meters.
"I would think we could come to an agreement from the Democratic standpoint and the Republican standpoint, so that way we can just make sure we get more officers on the street and keep the public safe," said Indianapolis resident James Sarver.
IMPD leaders say they have a plan to hire more officers with money already allotted in the existing budget.
"We're hoping to hire at least 50 officers in 2014, and another 50 in 2015, and we're very excited to have the help," according to IMPD Asst. Police Chief Ron Hicks.
Ballard has had success in garnering support for his proposal to expand the IMPD tax district to the Marion County lines, meaning homeowners in places like Speedway and Southport would start paying for police service.
The proposed district expansion is estimated to add more than $1.3 million to IMPD's budget.
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