Mayor Ballard reacts to Wednesday night drug bust, officer shooting

Mayor Greg Ballard (R-Indianapolis)
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A drug bust that ended with four IMPD officers shot Wednesday night affected discussions at the Statehouse Thursday morning.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard (R) was already scheduled to speak to lawmakers about what can be done to keep firearms out of the hands of felons but Wednesday's events gave added poignancy to the discussion.

Mayor Ballard said that he believes current state law is not a deterrent to criminals who want to commit a crime.

"The men and women of IMPD are doing great work arresting people accused of violent crimes but they shouldn't have to arrest the same guy, the same gun-toting criminals over and over again. They are tired of doing that....It's costing Indianapolis more for police. It's making Indianapolis a less attractive place to live, work and to visit," Ballard said Thursday.

The mayor asked lawmakers for a mandatory sentence of 20 years behind bars if someone uses a gun while committing a crime. He did point out that Wednesday night's gunbattle did not involve a convicted felon, but afterwards he added,

"There are probably more things to this than people know right now. We will have to see what the investigation shows but it just has to stop. There are things going on, people get more violent more quickly. Even though we can talk until we are blue in the face about overall stats being down, criminal homicides are up and we want that to stop."

According to Ballard, Wednesday's shooting was not just another reminder of the problem facing the Circle City, but also the solution.

"It's a team effort. It's not just the police, it's the community groups. It looks like there were a lot of people who helped out and gave us tips on this one and...we want to use all those folks as best as possible to help the police and that's what we're going to do."

In the near future, Mayor Ballard said that residents can likely expect police to get more aggressive regarding drugs and convicted felons - something he believes the city wants them to do.