In the annual State of the City address Monday night, Mayor Joe Hogsett underlined increased spending on city infrastructure and says a return to community-focused policing will target the tide of violence.
The first-term mayor says he will call on the City-County Council to invest an additional $10 million to rebuild the street maintenance division.
Since the 1990s, the city dramatically reduced the number of street maintenance workers. That led the use of more private contractors for street repairs. Hogsett says he's "shared the frustrations of many residents who asked why the city was forced to privately contract for even the most basic of preventative maintenance and road resurfacing activities."
The plan, he says, will give "long-underfunded street maintenance division" to buy more equipment and hire more workers to ensure city streets are safe and drivable.
"The era of ignoring our roads and streets is over and a new age of investment and innovation is at hand,” he says.
The Democrat says he will submit an investment plan to the council in the next 60 days. If approved, this funding would be in addition to the $14.5 million in emergency funds approved for pothole repair this winter.
Hogsett also focused on the nature of police patrolling in Marion County during the 35-minute address at Indiana Landmarks Center.
He says as of Monday night offers were returning to focus on community-based beat policing -- where officers patrol a smaller area and spend more time walking than in their cars.
“This comprehensive return to beat policing allows us to continue in our effort to stem the tide of violence that began to rise following the abandonment of beat policing in our county in 2012,” he says.
The city is experiencing an increase in criminal homicides, with 2017 marking the third consecutive year of record numbers.
Hogsett says the IMPD will have 78 total beats across the city. Currently, officers patrol in fewer but much larger areas.
Additionally, he says more than 100 city-owned cameras across Indianapolis will be repaired and upgraded to support criminal investigations.Contact WFYI education reporter Eric Weddle at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (317) 614-0470. Follow on Twitter: @ericweddle.