Public Safety Matters

Posted by: Kelly Sweeney  | Tuesday, June 16, 2015 8:00 am

With June being National Safety Month, I started to reflect on how important public safety is to me and to our community. While public safety matters year-round, it is especially important during the summer months when children are on summer break and our community is more active overall.

Central Indiana is a great place to live, work and raise a family, and we must work together in order to keep it that way. However, several recent events, such as the video circulating nationwide, deadly shootings, a new practice based on an illegal substance or tragic car accidents, are not only causing concern among members of our community, but threatening our sense of security. As a community, it is time that we work together and start being proactive when it comes to keeping members of our community safe and establishing a reputation that is welcoming to visitors.

Working towards this goal, I joined concerned citizens for a crime watch meeting at the community center last week. It is unfortunate how our community has been portrayed in the media lately, and by establishing this crime watch, we are hoping to restore our good name. One conclusion that we all came to is that there needs to be better communication between the community and our police force. Beech Grove Police Captain Robert Mercuri, who was later interviewed by the media, agreed that in order to curb violence there needs to be a stronger partnership between law enforcement and local residents. I hope this group will continue to grow, and I look forward to being part of an effort that is being proactive to address some of the public safety concerns impacting our area.

As a state leader, I can also use my role in the Legislature to keep Hoosiers safe, and I was proud to support several public safety initiatives during the 2015 legislative session. I authored a bill that would double funding for domestic violence prevention and treatment, which was later included in the state biennial budget. Programs and treatment for the prevention of domestic violence were allotted $5M annually over the next two years and a $1M appropriation was made to the Sexual Assault Victims’ Assistance Account as well.

As your elected official and member of the community, public safety as well as the well-being of Hoosiers continues to be my focus. Although funding is important to address these public safety issues, ultimately, community action is where the real solution lies. I will be holding a town hall meeting Tuesday, July 28th from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Sarah Shank Golf Course, 2901 S Keystone Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46203, to further discuss these issues and any others you would like to share.

I hope you will join me in taking time to look out for others and being extra cautious during these summer months. I am confident that the revitalization of this crime watch group will make us more aware and proactive as a community. I hope you will join in the effort. If you should ever have a question of concern, please contact my office by calling (317) 232-9793 or emailing h89@iga.in.gov.

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Rep. Kirchhofer represents portions of Perry, Franklin and Warren Townships in Marion County.