INDIANAPOLIS – Mayor Joe Hogsett’s proposed budget for 2022 has yet to be released on the county town council’s agenda for Monday night’s meeting, but careful consideration of available documents and information from sources Police officers say the IMPD will see a significant increase in spending while the Marion County Sheriff is prepared to cut some of its services.
The absence of the mayor’s budget proposal, even though the presentation and a handful of spending proposals have been released, plagues Council Republicans like Michael-Paul Hart.
“We haven’t actually been able to see in writing what the budget or the budget proposal is,” Hart said. “It’s one of two things: either they’re still working on it and they don’t know it, or they’re withholding the information, which is not helpful to the town and the citizens of Marion County.”
Late Sunday evening, the mayor’s office said it filed the order with council on Friday while its budget book was still being finalized and printed.
Fox 59 has inquired of the Council regarding the publication of the budget ordinance.
Last week, Hogsett dropped hints about his intentions to increase IMPD spending in the next budget thanks to Congress’ approval of the US bailout last spring.
“The difference from what we’ve done in the last five and a half years and what we may very well be able to do in the future is the result of $ 420 million in Indianapolis,” Hogsett said. . “We need more than what we have currently funded and that is what I will be talking about on Monday night.”
Hogsett said he will come up with improvements to IMPD technology and labor spending.
“We are trying to add more agents and make these agents focus almost exclusively on walking in our neighborhoods and on the streets, not at an office somewhere, so help is on the way,” he said. Hogsett said.
Sources say the mayor will allocate enough money to hire 1,843 Metro police officers, 200 more than today.
Police sources say Marion County Sheriff will stop transporting those arrested from the crime scene to jail, cede control of emergency communications to a new watch board, and no longer staff the unit detention of Eskenazi Health, which will increase the responsibilities and costs of those arrested. on local police departments.
Reduced services are expected to free up budgets to approve increases for sheriff employees and alleviate anticipated staff shortages inside the new county jail which is expected to open by the end of the year. year.
Last year, Indianapolis and Marion County’s combined budget was nearly $ 1.3 billion, with the IMPD and MCSO accounting for $ 384 million of that spending.
Other county criminal justice and public safety agencies, such as forensic services, the coroner, the courts, and the prosecutor, could see their spending increase.
On the $ 420 million ARP allocation, the Council will refer to budget proposals on Monday night to spend no more than $ 100 million on rent assistance and $ 206 million on COVID-19 relief, leaving more than $ 100 million dollars to spend on other city services and agencies. .
“I’ve asked a lot of questions about spending those dollars and I’m looking at a lot of off-the-shelf projects that I think we should be spending those dollars on instead of committing and taking on debt to build them up,” he said. Hart said. , one of the five Republicans on the Council. “I’m told we have to spend it on things that are directly impacted by COVID. How that relates to public safety, I’ll be interested to know.
“In conversations I had with Ken Clark, the City Comptroller, he mentioned that there is a big initiative and a lot of dollars that will go to public safety.
“We also have hundreds of millions of dollars of bonds coming up in this agenda, so not only are we planning a budget, but we have to look and do our homework on how are we going to take those bonds and spend them and what the deals are.” contractual on these as well and are these the right ways to spend those dollars.
The council will also refer to the committee’s proposals to take over fire protection in Beech Grove, lease space for the Marion County Coroner, and move forward with Circle City Forward projects to improve firefighting. parks, approve increases, bonuses and incentives for city workers and improve the office of public health and safety to oversee the assessment and response center of the new community justice center, create the Metropolitan Emergency Services Agency (MESA) to manage emergencies, public safety communications and emergency dispatch, operations previously operated by IMPD and MCSO, while creating an Emergency Management Board and Emergency Management Advisory Commission.
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