Indianapolis, IN – The growth of violent crime in Indianapolis is undeniable. Many of our City’s elected leaders have blindly pretended there is only one option to solve this epidemic: the addition of a large number of new police officers to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. The Libertarian Party of Marion County questions whether this increase in officers will actually reverse that trend, or if there are better ways available.
“Simply throwing 150 new officers on the streets isn’t going to stop crime,” said Chris Mayo, Chair of the LPMC, “If crime prevention was simply a matter of increasing the ratio of officers per capita, Chicago would be a Mecca for peace.” Mayo continued by pointing out Chicago has 44 officers per 10,000 citizens versus Indianapolis’ 20 per 10,000; meanwhile Chicago’s murder rate outpaces Indy’s 5-1, and rapes outpace Indy 3-1. “Increasing the police state isn’t working there, and it shouldn’t be accepted – let alone proposed – in our city.”
City-County Council District 23 Candidate Douglas McNaughton shared Mayo’s Chicago sentiment, adding, “Washington D.C. has three times as many officers per capita as Indianapolis. Maybe the number of cops on the payroll is not the problem in Indianapolis.” McNaughton suggests that a more positive involvement in the community would have a greater impact. “Let’s find new ways to utilize the officers we have. I’d rather have cops sharing a coffee and conversation with the community than roaming around looking for whatever some politician or bureaucrat tells them to look for.”
Fellow City-County Council Hopeful Mike Jasper (District 25) also believes that preventive measures are more likely to curb the chaos than a sudden spike in officer numbers. “If we don’t find ways for people to earn a living, we can’t pretend to be surprised when they feel forced to take a living. We can’t police our way out of a surplus of ‘idle hands.’ We have to put those hands to productive work.”
Mayo, too, states that striking at the cause of crime is more necessary than funding a reaction to it. “Instead of growing the police state, maybe we need to look at the cultural and economic issues that lead to increased crime. Maybe we need to find ways to engage our communities or empower them to tackle the issues at a more local level,” he said. “Organizations like the Ten Point Coalition have proven very effective at reducing crime in local communities. Why aren’t we providing them with the tools they need to grow and succeed?”
The Libertarian Party of Marion County strongly believes in the need for our communities to be free of violent crime. We doubt, though, that the addition of 150 officers to our police force is an effective way to make that happen. We are forced to wonder if this idea spawned from any real indicator that more officers would solve the problem, or did our City Leaders simply latch on to the first thing that sounded good that, also, allows them to increase the police state?
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