Members of the Indianapolis City-County Council and city officials hosted the first in a series of community conversations on public safety Thursday in an attempt to engage more voices.
The conversation started with an overview of a recent survey led by NYU’s Criminal Justice Lab. Professor Anne Milgram said initial results identified accountability as an important need.
"Asking ourselves the questions of how does the government hold themselves accountable for making the community as safe as possible and as equitable as can be," Milgram said.
The survey revealed residents consider homicide, gun violence and homelessness as top issues. It also identified differences among racial and age groups. According to the survey results, Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino residents said they feel less safe in Indianapolis than white residents. And younger residents (18-34) have a distinctly negative perception of police.
The discussion served as a platform to assess public safety, IMPD and other city programs and their effectiveness. City leaders joined members of the community in break out groups to talk about concerns that included income inequality and poverty.
Indianapolis Deputy Mayor of Neighborhood Engagement David Hampton led the conversation that has numerous goals.
"How do we assess our public safety, how do we assess IMPD, our public safety and our own programs here in the city," Hampton said.
The process aims to help to build a framework for ongoing public safety reform. The next conversation is set for Aug 12.