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Exterior of the City-County Buliding

Source: (Photo: Chris Davis/WIBC)

INDIANAPOLIS — A plan to crack down on repeat violent offenders in Indianapolis is moving forward before city-county councilors.

A council committee heard the proposal for the first time Tuesday evening and after nearly an hour of hearing expert testimony and asking questions, councilors approved the measure unanimously sending it to the full council.

Proposal 149 as it is called would have the city approve an additional $225,000 to hire three new lawyers to be placed on the city’s payroll, but the lawyers would work at the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“These three attorneys will be focused exclusively on gun crimes and serious violent crimes that are affecting, impacting Marion County,” said city corporation counsel Matt Giffin to councilors during the hearing.

That means that the three attorneys would be able to file federal charges against criminals they deem to be an ongoing threat to the public.

“Federal charges will usually result in bad actors being taken off the street throughout the entire pre-trial period,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, who is the former US Attorney for Southern Indiana. “It’s called pre-trial detention.”

Hogsett hopes that using pre-trial detention statutes through federal charges will keep repeat violent offenders from committing even more crimes. Under state charges, many of these criminals have been caught, arrested, and then immediately released with low or no bail, leading to them committing even more violence.

The full Indianapolis city-county council will take up the proposal at its next meeting on July 10th.