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Mayor Joe Hogsett has unveiled his 2022 budget proposal to the Indianapolis City-County Council. The budget for the city is set at $1.3 billion. Hogsett stated that $150 million will come from the American Rescue Plan Act which will directly focus on public safety over the next three years.

During the mayor’s speech, Tony Katz had several follow-up questions.

The first question is in regards to how Hogsett wants to hire 100 new IMPD officers and “peacemakers.” As Hogsett stated,

I am asking this Council to fund an additional 100 police officers who will be exclusively assigned to community patrols. And, I am proposing the expansion of the division of civilian Public Safety Officers within IMPD that will focus on non-emergency situations and paperwork, freeing our sworn law enforcement officers to focus on gun violence.

Tony asks how hiring additional officers will help if the Democratic party is pushing to defund the department.

You want to bring in 100 new police officers. How at odds are you with the City-County Council based on clearly your belief that we need a police department and considering their (the council’s) connections to a more ‘woke’ point of view that believes in defunding the police?

The mayor also brought up the ‘gun violence’ problem in the city multiple times.

We will do this not by abandoning our dedication to gun violence intervention, but by doubling-down on these efforts.

Katz would like an explanation as to why Hogsett is always blaming guns for the violence in the city when there are other factors.

When you see people getting stabbed to death, when you see massive amounts of drug use in this city, why is the only thing you can talk about is gun violence?…Is it not obvious that you are so anti-gun that that’s the thing that matters more than a safe city?  

Continuing the blame game, Hogsett points that it’s not just Indy who has had a major increase in crime.

Indianapolis has experienced a tidal wave of gun violence that has swept across the United States, in no small measure as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic… Across this city, residents are justifiably angry at a culture of death that has been fueled by an oversupply of guns and a deficit of hope.

Katz argues that the surge of violence in Indy has been steady and that is what the focus should be.

We have seen the murder rate creep up year after year. Why should we be concerned about the rest of the country? Why are you trying to throw blame on the rest of the country for your 5/6 years in office that have not yielded a result that is positive for the city?

Wouldn’t part of that involve having a prosecutor who actually prosecutes the crimes that are committed in Indianapolis so the bad guys can stay off the streets? And wouldn’t that involve no longer working with the bail project – that clearly will provide bail to people who go about killing. Why are you supporting such projects?  When will you be a part of the cycle of breaking the violence?

These questions are anything but gotcha questions, in fact Katz believes they are rational questions coming from a place of a concerned Hoosier who truly loves this city.