The Outstater

February 8, 2022

“Last week, Biden talked about being tough on crime. This week, the Biden administration announced funds for crack pipe distribution to ‘advance racial equity.’” — Sen. Tom Cotton 

$50,000 Indy ‘Peacemakers’

HERE’S THE IDEA: To slow the crime wave in Indianapolis, Mayor Joe Hogsett is repurposing some loose federal dollars to raise an army of 50 “peacemakers.” It is a brilliant plan, but perhaps not in the way you are thinking.

These peacemakers join a crime-fighting force of three dozen or so other social-justice groups (“interceptors,” some like to be called) coordinated by the Indianapolis Office of Public Health and Safety, not to be confused with the politically incorrect and socially insensitive Metropolitan Police Department.

Although the effort is barely underway, the office has sent sharply worded letters to 83 people identified as most likely to blow their neighbor’s head off. And please understand that the peacemakers are not just off-the-street dopes — or at least not any more. They are paid from $50,000 to $60,000 a year.

That’s the brilliant part. Imagine what a Democrat machine can do with 50 energized highly paid neighborhood organizers working five days a week 12 months a year in the inner city just checking on things? Well yes, being registered to vote is an important part of health and safety, or at least getting your mail-in ballot(s) into the proper hands.

But even brilliant ideas have detractors. The Indianapolis Star quotes Rick Snyder of the Fraternal Order of Police as relating the plan to an upside-down funnel:  “We are dumping all of these resources into the top end, but, because we have a prosecutor that is soft on crime, you are seeing all of this flowing out the bottom end, and you cannot keep up with the flow.”

Snyder doesn’t get it, does he? That is the most appealing part, that it doesn’t produce extra work for the prosecutor’s office in the way of arrests and bothersome court cases. It doesn’t cost, you see, it saves.

In the event, however, that the mayor’s plan doesn’t catch on with the general public, he might want to look at what Cleveland is doing five hours to his east.

There they have a simpler idea. They demonstrate to those criminals most likely to commit homicides that if they illegally carry a gun they will be off the street for a long time. This does not involve campaigning for broader and more restrictive gun laws but merely enforcing ones on the books. Here is Tom Hogan writing in this week’s City Journal:

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cleveland is taking advantage of the fact that violent crime is heavily concentrated among relatively few offenders. In general, less than 5 percent of perpetrators are responsible for over 50 percent of violent offenses. By targeting violent felons carrying guns or dealing drugs, federal prosecutors are going after that precise cohort. This enables the incapacitation of violent offenders without sweeping up low-level miscreants.”

This minimalist approach, that an unarmed felon is less likely to murder someone than an armed, drug-addled one, has proven effective in New York City, in Boston and in Richmond, Va., where homicides were reduced by 33 percent in one year and by 50 percent in a decade.

In Indianapolis, that would mean 89 lives saved just this year — no, not enough, sadly, to swing a mayoral election. — tcl


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