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INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, Downtown Indy, Inc., and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department are joining together to try and improve safety downtown.

Hogsett said downtown and many neighborhoods have been hit by recent events. He mentioned the vacancy brought on by quarantine, the “uproar” that took over the streets during the protests in May, and the presence of the homeless population that

has been crowded out of shelters.

He says even though downtown has faced many challenges in the last five months, it’s on its way back, which is why $750,000 in TIF-backed funding will be used to help reopening and recovery efforts.

“This investment will mean a bolstered public safety infrastructure day and night for Downtown,” said Hogsett. “It will mean an increased investment in non-public safety personnel to serve as wayfinders and ambassadors. It means new technology capabilities to help our law enforcement officers better access and respond in real-time to illegal activity, and it comes in the form of more cleaning capacity for common areas; more homeless outreach for effective and people-first solutions.”

The new Downtown Indy Rebuilding and Recovery Committee will use the money to mainly increase public safety downtown by:

  • Increasing foot/bike patrols of off-duty IMPD officers
  • Launching Downtown Indy, Inc.’s Safety Ambassador program, which will have both people from the community and IMPD cadets helping Downtown business owners and residents, and be extra eyes and ears
  • Putting in more than 150 street-level cameras, and partnering with downtown businesses to be part of IMPD’s B. Link program
  • Adding mobile cameras in “crime hot spots”
  • Increasing the partnership between IMPD’s Downtown District, IMPD’s Narcotics Unit and IMPD’s Homeless Unit to identify areas with increased homeless and use resources more strategically

Sherry Seiwert, president of Downtown Indy, Inc., said downtown is open for business.

“If you have a number of off-duty officers walking and biking around downtown, the new employment of Safety Patrol, who are radioed directly to IMPD, plus 150 external new cameras placed on properties, residential and commercial in and around downtown that are directly linked to IMPD,” said Seiwert. “I think that certainly benefits our downtown residents.”

The money for this program joins funding made available by the City and CIB for recovery efforts throughout the city, including:

  • $37 million in loans and grants for businesses and nonprofits affected by the pandemic
  • $2.7 million in Emergency Solutions grants for rapid re-housing, with $7 million more dedicated
  • Added DPW cleaning crews to combat increased littering
  • $2 million to secure hotel capacity for those experiencing homelessness during the pandemic
  • $1 million in rapid response loans for small businesses in the food and beverage industry

“This city has my pledge,” said Hogsett.”That we will never stop working to repair the damage the pandemic has brought to our downtown.