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INDIANAPOLIS–What it takes to successfully run a city the size of Indianapolis is a plan, and Republican state Sen. Jim Merritt says he has one. Merritt announced he will run against Democrat Joe Hogsett. He made the announcement in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood today.

“This city is crumbling under our feet and there’s just no overall plan for the future and thus, I feel like I need to step up and run for mayor of Indianapolis,” he said.

Merritt painted a picture of a disorganized city government.

“The idea of an overall plan for the future of Indianapolis-the current administration patches. It’s all patchwork,” he said. “We’re gonna come with, in the next 10 months, bold solutions to the problems that are challenging Indianapolis.”

He said one of the main problems is crime.

“We have an overall fear in our community right now. People, when they get out of their car and go into the drug store, they don’t feel safe. That is unacceptable.”

While Merritt acknowledges that there are some programs that are working in Indianapolis, he said the murder rate is an outrage.

“The 160 murders is just awful. Forty-seven of them 18 to 24 year olds, is scary. And, almost 50 kids aren’t living today that were living in 2017, and they were murdered,” said Merritt.

He said he sees problems in the police department that may be contributing to the murder and crime rates.

“More police officers is probably good. But, law enforcement here in Indianapolis-I think the morale is low. I think they feel like they’re social workers with a gun.”

He said some of the law enforcement issues that should be tackled are how to deal with problems from people who have behavioral health issues, and knowing what’s going on in neighborhoods by regularly reviewing data about those neighborhoods. Merritt said former police chief Troy Riggs was big on data meetings.

Mator Joe Hogsett has already announced he will run again.

PHOTO: Eric Berman/Emmis