Mahan: Keeping Hoosier communities safe

Posted by: Samantha Holifield  | Wednesday, August 2, 2017 10:26 am

Every Hoosier has the right to feel safe within their home and community. Unfortunately, over the last few years, there has been a slight uptick in criminal offenses reported by the Indiana State Police in our area. To help address this issue, I supported several new laws to help better identify dangerous criminals and address high-crime areas throughout the state. 

In order to ensure that our communities are well protected, we must continue to support our law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line protecting each of us every day. As part of the biennial state budget I supported earlier this year, salaries for all state law enforcement officers, including Indiana State Police and Conservation Officers, will be increased 24 percent. This overdue measure ensures that those who serve and protect Indiana are compensated at a rate competitive with other states and municipalities. 

When it comes to keeping our state safe, accurate and timely information is vital. That’s why I supported a new policy allowing law enforcement to expand the use of DNA to solve crimes. This will help better identify the guilty and exonerate the innocent. At the time of a felony arrest, a cheek swab can now be taken and, after a court finds probable cause, the DNA sample would be run through a national database to pinpoint and stop criminals. It is important to note that if a person is found innocent or no charges are filed, the DNA sample would be destroyed. Utilizing DNA in this way will help solve crimes not only in Indiana but also across the country. Thirty other states already have similar legislation on the books. 

Policymakers also enacted a new measure tasking local law enforcement with reporting incidents to the Indiana State Police to help better identify and address high-crime areas. By entering the data into the National Incident-Based Reporting System, ISP will be able to chart where crime is happening and then direct resources accordingly. We also took a look at keeping those who repeatedly violate their probation or community supervision off the streets. Low-level offenders receiving services like addiction treatment can now be committed to the Department of Correction, in other words state prison, if they don’t adhere to the terms of their probation, parole or community corrections. 

By supporting law enforcement and taking steps to better identify areas that need attention, we can continue to build strong communities throughout Indiana. As a former sheriff, I understand the difficulties and sacrifices that face the brave men and women protecting our communities day in and day out. Just last week, we all grieved the news that a Southport police officer was shot and murdered responding to a traffic accident. During tragedies like this one, please keep the family and friends of the fallen officer in our thoughts and prayers. 

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact me at 317-234-9499 or h31@iga.in.gov.  

-30-

State Rep. Kevin Mahan (R-Hartford City) represents

portions of Blackford, Delaware, Grant and Wells counties. 

A high-resolution photo of Mahan can be downloaded by clicking here.