In making the announcement Oct. 30, Mayor Dennis Buckley said the money will be used to increase public safety.
“In 2015 we will purchase another fire engine, the second in three years, and we should not incur any debt,” he said. “We will also purchase another ambulance, the third in three years, and extend our coverage through Franciscan St. Francis Health by placing a second ambulance in service 24/7.”
City Hall will be updated, and $100,000 will be invested for new computers in police vehicles and the lease purchase of four new cruisers.
As part of environmental and security issues, the city will begin the process of having one location for fueling city-owned vehicles.
In the last quarter of 2015 two new officers will be hired.
“In 2016 we will hire an additional firefighter and another employee for the Department of Public Works, and $60,000 will be budgeted to provide coverage for the front lobby of the police station from 4 p.m.-midnight,” said Buckley.
“In 2016 we will purchase five cruisers, and we hope to introduce a program called Community Para Medicine, which will assist chronically ill patients.
“We will continue to make investments in the safety of each officer, firefighter and civilian paramedic. We will begin the process to either lease purchase or plan for a public safety bond of up to $900,000 to replace firefighter and police gear.”
Two more officers and one more firefighter will be hired in 2017. The hires will bring the staffing levels of both departments to 34, the highest level since 2004.
“As society changes we must address our challenges from a different perspective,” the mayor said. “Hiring several more public safety officers may not change the mindset of society. I believe that other aspects of society have to play a part in bridging people together. I would certainly welcome our Parks Board, city schools and faith-based roundtable to come together and institute an early childhood development program.
“We placed an officer in the schools in 2012, and I’m glad that we. We need to consider doing it again. We have a fundamental responsibility to protect our children.”
Buckley, a former fire chief for the city, said he does not support fire consolidation. “I would not give up our public safety initiatives and the good work we do in preventing fires. However, I would sign legislation if approved by the Common Council to enter into a interlocal agreement for fire protection with Indianapolis for Beech Grove.
“I would not support the elimination of trash pickup. Our DPW does a wonderful job.
“As some cities struggle to come up with funding to maintain services, our city continues to move forward,” the mayor said. “Most people are unaware but felony and probation sweeps occur in our city on a regular basis.”
City employees will receive a 2 percent raise next year.
“As our city continues to grow and new business investments are made. “We can continue to grow our public safety departments while continuing to make much needed infrastructure improvements.”