Crime, education top Ballard's State of the City address

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Making the city a more "livable" place is the overall theme when Mayor Greg Ballard takes the podium for his 7th annual State of the City address.

But it may very well be what he says about crime that will draw the attention of communities looking for answers to a violent start to 2014.  

In the first seven weeks of the year, there have been 30 homicides. Just last week, over a 15-hour period, Indianapolis police investigated eight shooting deaths. 

While the chief of police admits most of the victims had a criminal history, it's a disturbing trend for a city striving to attract young professionals and new business.

In his address, which will take place on the University of Indianapolis campus, Mayor Ballard is expected to talk about "things we're doing to strengthen IMPD with technology and new systems," according to Marc Lotter, Director of Communications for the city.

"He's also going to talk about things we need in the community in terms of reaching out to the entire community in playing a role in this, because it's not just an issue for police," Lotter explained.

Along with public safety, the mayor plans to talk about education, including early childhood education, expanding access to high quality schools, as well as neighborhood improvements.

Downtown development will also be addressed. and Mayor Ballard will offer a 'sneak peek' of some projects, including parks improvements.

"The biggest thing you'll hear the mayor talk about tonight is making the city a more livable place, doing everything we can to make sure people choose Indianapolis as their place to live, as their place to do business," said Lotter.