And today, he, Public Safety Director Troy Riggs and Deputy Mayor for Education Jason Kloth will host a discussion on that three-pronged program – prevention, protection, and punishment – from 7-8 p.m. at Southport Presbyterian Church, 7525 McFarland Blvd.
“We, as a society, can no longer keep doing the same things over and over again and expect different results,” said Ballard. “Crime in American cities is a symptom of larger societal problems. My plan will address the larger issues by investing in preschool, helping dropouts and those expelled from school, adding more police officers and stopping the revolving door of criminals who keep committing crimes and getting rearrested.”
Ballard is committing $25 million over five years to make preschool more affordable for low-income families.
To pay for it, the mayor wants to eliminate the local homestead tax credit.
“It is time for Indy to join the state and nearly every other county across Indiana by eliminating this local credit,” he said. Some of the revenue generated also will go to public safety.
Abolishing the credit would affect about 60 percent of city homeowners, who would pay almost $2 more a month.
Ballard said he will sign off on raising the public safety income tax, which was recommended earlier this year by the police staffing commission. That revenue will allow the city to add 280 recruits by 2018.
If the credit is eliminated and the public safety tax is increased, the average resident will wind up paying about $7 more per month, according to the mayor.
The effort also calls for an 11 p.m. curfew for teens on the weekend and the launching of a heroin initiative.
Another component is minimum mandatory sentences for those who commit crimes using a gun.
“We need local and federal prosecutors, judges and the state to do a better job identifying the worst of the worst,” Ballard said.
Some Democratic City-County councilors said they are encouraged by Ballard’s proposals, but they want to make sure the plan is fiscally responsible.