Half Past the Month

November 15, 2021

Voilà! — Democrat Violence Reduction

THE OBSERVATION is made that Democrats have a much better strategic approach than Republicans. For them, winning office by hook or crook and staying there no matter what is the simple goal.  Republicans — sometimes but not always — tie themselves in knots trying to define issues, encourage moral decisions and illustrate constitutional principles.

Thus Democrats are more free to make promises to donors and the electorate that they know cannot be kept, that are in fact impossible and to which they have no intention of being bound. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett’s anti-crime program is an example.

The elements of the program in effect promise troubled Indianapolis neighborhoods that crime rates can be reduced without actually catching any criminals. It is hugely popular among voters of a certain type.

But like many Democrats lacking the mirror of serious press criticism, Hogsett tends to forget that his positions are based on hooey, that they have no connection with the problems in whose name they are furthered.

Such is the Violence Reduction program under the city’s Office of Health and Public Safety. No, it has no connection to the police department or, as closely as we can tell, to any actual violence reduction. 

The program seems to be charged with showing up at crime scenes to comfort victims, and in the words of its director, “interfacing with community members and making relationships that last.” That and a lot of “engaging the community and trying to give some people hope that this isn’t, you know, hopeless.”

That assertion was weakened last week when that same director of violence reduction resigned because, for her at least, the situation did seem hopeless. “There’s only so much murder people can take mentally and emotionally,” she told the Indianapolis Star, “it takes a toll on you after a while.” 

One might think that having your director of violence reduction resign because of a surfeit of violence would prompt some agonizing reappraisal. Not so. The intrepid mayor’s office was full steam ahead, praising the program and its management on the day the city murder rate hit a historic high.

Among the accomplishments listed was increasing the violence-reduction funding available in 2018 for neighborhood grants (from a pittance of $300,000 per year). Now the city has a three-year plan that will allocate $45 million toward anti-violence community grants with another $37 million expected to go toward group violence-intervention programming, according to the Star, plus the hiring of 50 additional “peacemakers” in coming years. 

And the former violence reduction director? She plans to spend more time with her family.

We would quip that “you can’t make this stuff up” except that Indianapolis Democrats obviously can. — tcl


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