Council Democrats Propose Initiative to Stabilize Neighborhoods and Reduce Crime

June 25, 2014

Council Democrats Propose Initiative to Stabilize Neighborhoods and Reduce Crime

Indianapolis – Today Democratic members of the Indianapolis City/County Council announced a new initiative that will bring vacant properties and empty lots back to life and provide rent-free homes for public safety officers, including IMPD Officers and Sheriff’s Deputies. The proposal will be introduced at the July 14, 2014 meeting of the Indianapolis City/County Council.

“Blighted homes and empty lots are more than an eyesore that decrease property values. They attract vandalism and other crime that can affect the entire neighborhood,” said Councilor John Barth. “What better resident of a rehabbed house in a high-crime area than an IMPD officer or a Sheriff’s Deputy whose presence will strengthen a neighborhood.”

With Indianapolis’ current murder count at 75, the city has the highest murder rate at this point of the year dating back to 2008. At the current pace, the murder count is projected to hit 162, or 19.19 deaths per 100,000 people. This initiative is aimed at reducing crime and stabilizing neighborhoods by encouraging IMPD officers and Sheriff’s Deputies to live in redeveloped or newly constructed houses on vacant lots in high crime areas, where they can reside for two years rent-free.

“Indianapolis neighborhoods have suffered far too long from the ongoing violent crime wave,” said Council President Maggie A. Lewis. “This proposal will be the cornerstone of the Council’s plan to ensure IMPD and Sheriff resources are where they are needed the most – close to home.”

The program – called “Safe Neighborhoods Now!” – will begin as a pilot to test the effectiveness of the concept. The first pilot round of housing will be developed in partnership with the Mapleton-Fall Creek Community Development Corporation (MFCCDC) in the Mapleton-Fall Creek neighborhood. The program will construct or rehab up to five houses in high-crime areas of the city, partnering with different Community Development Corporations, using $1,000,000 in funds repurposed from Rebuild Indy.

At the end of an officer’s Safe Neighborhoods Now! two-year residency, the officer will be offered the opportunity to buy the house. This will create a permanent public safety presence in the neighborhood and put the house back on the property tax rolls.

Marion County Sheriff John Layton stated, “I support community policing, neighborhood preservation, and better compensation for our law enforcement officers. Thus, the Council’s proposal seems to be a win-win-win situation. Therefore, I look forward to working with the Council and other public safety officials, throughout the legislative process.”




March 2, 2014

For Immediate Release

March 3, 2014

Media Contact:

Angela Gonzalez



Indianapolis – The bipartisan commission created by the City-County Council to address the staffing of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) invites all members of the public to come and express their thoughts about how best to add more IMPD officers at its meeting on Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. at the Library Services Center, 2450 N. Meridian Street.

The Council created the bipartisan study commission to determine the appropriate and necessary number of IMPD officers and to review and analyze long-term funding options.  “We are seeking the input of the city’s residents to assist the Commission in creating a plan that will properly staff our police force so that our citizens feel safe in their neighborhoods,” said Councillor John Barth, sponsor of the initiative.

The Commission, consisting of 11 members appointed by key public safety leaders in the city, has been holding meetings since January and will make a recommendation to the Council the end of March.  Information about the Commission, including agendas, meeting minutes, presentations and supporting materials is available to the public on the Commission’s web page:  The Commission ‘s meetings will also be broadcast on Channel 16.

Commission Chair Mary Moriarty Adams invites all citizens to attend the commission hearing on March 6, 2014, where ample time will be allowed for public comment on this important issue.  The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will be held at the Library Services Center, 2450 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208.



February 24, 2014


February 24, 2014


Action-Based Agenda Shows Results

INDIANAPOLIS – In 2014 the members of the Indianapolis City/County Council will continue to lead based on the priorities of our residents in each and every neighborhood.

“During 2013, Councillors listened closely to our city’s residents, and it is clear they want a city where every neighborhood has the opportunity to thrive and where every citizen is safe,” said Council President Maggie Lewis.

Council priorities and successes in 2013 included:

Results-Oriented, Bipartisan Leadership: Council leadership operates with an inclusive, community-oriented leadership approach that focuses on achieving results for every Indianapolis zip code. Key examples include:

  • Budget compromise: Council leadership led the way to develop a bipartisan budget compromise, resulting in 80 new IMPD officers with no new taxes;
  • Resolution Against HJR-3: With bipartisan support, the Council passed a resolution opposed to HJR-3. Our city is a welcoming place to live, work and play and our State Constitution should embrace that; and
  • Disability Business Enterprise:  The Council passed an ordinance that created a Disability Business Enterprise program for the City of Indianapolis. This program ensures that people with disabilities have a pathway to start their own businesses.

Protecting the Public: 2013 saw the highest rate of violent crime in more than a decade, and 2014 is seeing the troubling trend continue. The Council demanded and took quick action, with two key proposals to support our neighborhoods now in place:

  • 80 additional IMPD Officers: The Council demonstrated clear and strong support for public safety. Through tough negotiations with the Mayor, we were successful in adding more police – ultimately adding 80 new officers – to the IMPD ranks while staying within our budget.
  • IMPD Staffing Commission – Finding a Long-term Solution: In December of 2013, the Council created a bipartisan study commission to determine the appropriate and necessary number of IMPD officers and to review and analyze long-term funding options. The bi-partisan Commission is now meeting and will have recommendations by March 31, 2014.

Strong Neighborhoods: The Council believes supporting our neighborhoods is a priority that will help our city prosper. In 2013, the Council pushed forward several key initiatives:

  • Quality of Life: The Council passed a bipartisan proposal to reduce and remove graffiti in Indianapolis neighborhoods. The new ordinance is aimed squarely at giving neighborhoods an important tool to improve the quality of life.
  • Community Affairs Committee: As it did in 2013, the Community Affairs Committee continued to hold meetings in the community, including the Library Service Center.
  • National Recognition for Complete Streets: In 2013, the National Complete Streets Coalition recognized the Indianapolis “complete street” multimodal transportation ordinance to be the best in the nation.

“There is no question that crime is at the top of the list of community concerns, and in 2013, the City/County Council took action to address the city’s violent crime crisis,” said Council Vice President John Barth. “We will continue our clear, consistent focus on public safety in 2014 because we owe it to the people of this city who have chosen to live, work and raise their families in our neighborhoods.”

“I am proud of all our Councillors – they work hard every day, often on top of full time jobs – to represent their constituents. The results from 2013 speak for themselves,” said President Lewis.


Study Commission Focusing on IMPD Staffing and Funding, Announces Members and Meeting Dates

January 14, 2014

For Immediate Release

Study Commission Focusing on IMPD Staffing and Funding, Announces Members and Meeting Dates
Commission aimed at determining the necessary number of IMPD Officers

Indianapolis – As one of its final acts in 2013, the Indianapolis City/County Council passed a proposal, sponsored by Council Vice President John Barth, to create a bipartisan study commission to determine the appropriate and necessary number of IMPD officers and to review and analyze long-term funding options.

“It is long past time Indianapolis had a transparent, long-term plan for IMPD staffing,” said Councillor Barth. “It is my goal that the Commission will set forth a plan for staffing and funding that will remove the politics from policing, so we can keep the focus where it belongs – on protecting our citizens.”

For the full release with Commission members and meeting dates, click here: PRESS_RELEASE01-14-14