Sen. Donnelly plans Indianapolis crime meetings

May 21st, 2014 at 4:39 pm by under Jim Shella's Political Blog

U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly says he wants to hear directly from people who have been affected by the recent crime wave in Indianapolis.  It’s the reason he will hold two community meetings here next week.

Adrian Johnson sits in the driveway of his east side home on a quiet afternoon.  He’s happy to talk about the violence in this neighborhood.

“It’s getting more prevalent, it’s getting closer to my home,” he said. “It’s getting outrageous.”

At the nearby Forest Manor Multi-Service Center Joe Donnelly will hold one of two meetings to discuss violent crime.

Johnson, who recently heard the gunshots as a friend was killed down the block, welcomes it.

“We need a presence in the community,” he said, “to know that crime is being dealth with, they see it, and they’re gonna do something about it.”

Holding meetings to address an ongoing problem is not new for Donnelly.  “But to have a discussion specifically on crime,” said his state director, Hodge Patel, “that is something that’s new.”

Joyce Hiser hopes he can help.  “And I think it’s great that the Senator is coming here next week to discuss this,” she said, “cause we do need help here.”

Hiser sells discount caskets and lately she’s been getting the kind of business she doesn’t want.

“I see it from the family’s point of view,” she said, “because I see the mothers that come in and they can’t afford the funeral expenses.”

Donnelly will also hold a meeting at the Christamore House on the west side.  The meetings take place next Tuesday.

Mostly, he wants to know if federal grants are being used effectively and if there is anything he can do to attract more of them.  Those grants can go to law enforcement and, in some cases, to community organizations and non-profits.

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