City-County Council to hear opinion on public safety tax hike

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A proposal that aims to raise taxes to hire more police officers in Indianapolis is drawing a strong reaction.

City officials want to hear from you tonight at a public meeting at 5:30 p.m. on the second floor of the City-County Building.

With the increase in violent crime in Indianapolis in the last year, public safety is top of mind for many residents and the city has been working to figure out how to beef up the police force.

Earlier this year, the IMPD Staffing Study Commission approved a plan to add 400 officers over four years. But, it would cost $28.5 million a year.

The commission said federal grants and phasing out the homestead tax would help, but also suggest raising the public safety tax.

"Income tax dollars, property tax dollars, that's how it all works," said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. "That's how we get the money."

IMPD Police Chief Rick Hite said having more police officers on the streets is crucial.

The FOP President echoes the sentiment.

"It's is not just our police department that is under attack, our city is under attack," said FOP President Rick Snyder. "We're being terrorized. We can debate whether or not more cops means less crime, but what I can suggest to you is I can't find anyone that at this stage in the game suggests that we should have less police than we have now."

The tax increase would mean an annual cost of about $100 for the average Marion County taxpayer. The goal is to build a police force close to 1,800 by bringing in 80 recruits this year, and 100 more officers for the next four years.