Power Poll members are overwhelmingly pessimistic that homicides will decline in the year ahead. Indianapolis had a record 271 homicides in 2021.
Seventy-five percent of respondents were very pessimistic or somewhat pessimistic that the number would decline. The other 25 percent were somewhat optimistic that 2022 would be less deadly.
Asked to rank possible responses to the crisis, respondents saw the most potential in tougher gun laws and penalties for illegal possession; easier access to mental health services, and community based efforts.
Mayor Joe Hogsett, the City-County Council and the Indiana General Assembly are considering or have already funded many of the solutions. Tougher gun control laws in the state, however, are thought to be a non-starter.
Power Poll members offered other thoughts. Among them:
--"We need to have more programs for Youth in their community and we need to involve all of our community organizations to prioritize reducing violent crimes.”
--"As long as the Indiana statehouse seems intent on starving Indianapolis of funding…. I have little hope of the situation changing.”
---"Elect Republicans in Marion County.”
--"1. We keep making guns easier and easier to get, and then we're surprised when people use them.
“2. Conflict resolution and trauma informed care are important components of the mental health services.”
--“Teaching respect begins at home and as an extension school, church and other childhood programs (sports, band, scouts, jobs). Holding parents and these institutions responsible for discipline on small issues teaches respect. Both for the rules and appropriate behavior (mental health). But for the short term solutions will need to focus on mental health (although few of us acknowledge we need services until too late) and police and court enforcement.”
--"Talk to perpetrators more; I'm amazed at how we try to solve this problem without engaging those involved.”
--"This is a national and cultural problem. It requires deep, independent study. While that happens, we have to have common sense gun control and other programs to get guns off the streets. Mentoring and conflict resolution programs also need unprecedented funding levels--and time for them to work. The new criminal justice center with mental health screening at the start is a wonderful first step.”