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Exterior of the City-County Buliding

Source: (Photo: Chris Davis/WIBC)

INDIANAPOLIS — As city leaders continue to gather input from all the departments that make up the city of Indianapolis on just how much money they need to spend next year, Indianapolis Metro Police made their case before a committee hearing on Wednesday.

They are asking for $324 million from the city in the 2024 budget, which is an $11 million increase from the year before.

IMPD Chief Randal Taylor led the delegation of law enforcement officers who presented before the city-county council’s Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee. He said the extra cash they are asking for will help them invest more in new technology they say they need to fight crime.

“We are seeing a reduction in violent crime,” Taylor said. “We are using technology to hold violent offenders accountable. I believe the 2024 budget proposal will help continue that progress.”

RELATED | READ: IMPD’s Proposal for Expanding Crime-Fighting tech in Indianapolis

The proposal from IMPD says they would use the money to invest in 150 additional new license plate readers for police cruisers, 50 additional public security cameras, 30 new drones, and new dash camera for around 750 police vehicles. It would also expand upon current programs introducing gunshot detection to some neighborhoods.

Many in the public viewing area were in attendance at Wednesday night’s hearing. Some of them were holding signs showing opposition to the amount of money being asked for by IMPD. The main concern was mental health and the feeling that more of that money should be invested in addressing how the department handles mental health crises.

“We talk constantly and consistently in all of our training to help mitigate and help and defuse and deescalate issues related to mental health,” said IMPD Asst. Chief Chris Bailey. “The last three and a half years, potentially, probably have been some of the worst that we’ve seen in police-community relations … we are committed to working on that.”

IMPD is asking for $7.2 million alone to help hire more police officers. Right now, the department has 1,521 officers on its payroll which is down from 2022.

The Indianapolis FOP gave its full support for the budget after the meeting.

The final overall budget will likely be voted on in mid-October.