March 23, 2023

Indy mayoral candidate Shackleford emphasizes reestablishing community and police trust

Shackleford announced her run in November. - Jill Sheridan/WFYI

Shackleford announced her run in November.

Jill Sheridan/WFYI

Indiana state Rep. Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis), a Democratic candidate in the Indianapolis mayoral race, laid out her public safety plans this week. 

Indianapolis has experienced record homicides in recent years. Public safety is a major priority for many mayoral candidates, including Shackleford, and reinstating a public safety director is at the top of her list.

“I think you have to have someone at the executive level that the chief of police and officers can go to directly when the mayor is not available,” Shackleford said.

Shackleford’s plan also details ways to rebuild IMPD through recruitment, reduced barriers to apply, improved clearance rates and benefits. The department is currently budgeted for more than 1,800 officers, but falls short of that number.

Shackleford says reestablishing community and police trust is also key. Body camera footage accountability is another focus.

“I’m wanting that footage to be released to the public within 48 hours of the incident,” Shackleford said.

Many measures in her proposal are also backed by current Mayor Joe Hogsett.  This year, the city invested $300 million in public safety initiatives. Hogsett has also prioritized funding for grassroots groups that work on violence reduction.

Shackleford says more work to support and involve young people is needed.

She also prioritizes long-term financing for the Mobile Crisis Assistance Team, or MCAT, which would make the program available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

At a recent mayoral forum, other candidates also laid out public safety plans. Democrat and activist Clif Marsiglio proposed hiring 200 unarmed civilian officers to respond to mental health and substance abuse issues.

Shackleford says her plan is community-led, and her team is still taking input.

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