The actions required to make a dent in the Indianapolis violent crime rate will take a collective effort, and two of Indiana’s representatives to Congress have pledged to do their part, reports the Indianapolis Star. Reps. Andre Carson (D) and Susan Brooks (R) hope to work with Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. However, Carson issued a statement distancing himself from a plan the mayor announced last week for additional police officers, preschool and anti-dropout initiatives, and a crackdown on illegal guns.
Brooks, a former deputy mayor and U.S. attorney, said a focus on dropout prevention is especially critical. “When they drop out,” she said, “they lose hope.” Carson lamented that Indianapolis hasn’t applied for a federal grant to hire more police officers, but Ballard said that is because the city can’t guarantee ongoing funding for salaries and pensions after the federal grants end. There has been talk about allowing the grants to be used for other purposes, but Carson said it might be tough to get approval from Congress right now. “It’s an election year,” he said. “Politicians aren’t as reliable as they should be.”