The mayor and the police; the city and violent crime

Dateline: Tue 19 Dec 2006

Now that he's the new prez of the National League of Cities, Mayor Bart Peterson has returned to his old theme song: he once again wants to ban violent video games.

This is madness. He initiated this campaign years ago when he was running for mayor; his futile court battle to get the games out of arcades cost the city hundreds of thousands -- I recall $700,000 was spent for legal fees.

Now, with the murder rate in Marion County at 140 so far this year -- setting a record that will surpass 1998 and putting us on a par with New Orleans -- the mayor chooses to ignore his own police force and their salary needs and go after this goofy side issue.

But IPD is not to be trifled with. The cops staged a rally in the city last night -- check out indyundercoverblogspot.com for details and comments. They showed up at the Colts game and more importantly at the City-County Council meeting, where (some of) the bums were going to give themselves a nice salary hike.

Meanwhile, the honorable Aaaron Sullivan, the new prez of the local FOP, has an excellent letter spotlight in the Star this morning. "New FOP leadership faces old familiar frustrations," is the headline.

Sullivan details the history of relations between the mayor and the FOP, which looks like a lot of manipulation to avoid raises by the city.

Sullivan concludes: "IPD officers' morale is at an all-time low. More important, we are angry, and for good reason. We have been treated poorly by Mayor Peterson for several years."

Also in the Star this morning: a front page story on an 8 percent jump in violent crime in INdy during the first 6 months of 2006.

Police chief Michael Spears says that violent crime is actually down in September compared with Septermber, 2005. But the homicide rate, he acknowledges, is up and going up.

For the life of me, I'll never understand how a Democrat mayor, who ran on a campaign of public safety and 200 police officers, can treat the police with such contempt.

Why?

comments: ruth@ruthholladay.com

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