Zionsville City Council Creates Public Safety Task Force Current Issues

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Zionsville City Council recently formed a public safety task force after Councilman Josh Garrett raised community safety concerns following the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Dr. Alexander Choi

After a brief discussion at the June 6 city council meeting, the task force was created on June 8. The working group will examine issues related to community and school safety. It will be led by board members Alex Choi, Brad Burk and Josh Garrett.

According to a council press release, the task force will engage Mayor Emily Styron, Boone County Sheriff’s Office, Zionsville Police Department, Zionsville Fire Department, Zionsville Schools teachers and administrators, mental health experts and others to create a comprehensive plan to address security issues. The task force will focus on prevention and responses to mass shootings.

burk

At the council meeting, Garrett said gun control measures are determined at the federal and state level. A new law allowing Indiana residents to conceal handguns without a license will go into effect in July. In light of the growing national discussion about gun control, Garrett said the council can use its budget to help fund public safety needs.

“Whatever happens, the pragmatic reality of us as a community of Zionsville is that people operate within the legal framework created at the state and federal level, so what can we do?” Garret said at the June 6 meeting. “We can make speeches, we can make proclamations, but pragmatically we as a council have a budget which is our tool. How to talk about prevention to these leaders? How do you prevent a mass shooting? »

Council chairman Jason Plunkett said local options are available to protect the community.

“This is not a partisan issue, but something we should all care about. Making it a priority ensures that we are doing everything in our power to keep Zionsville safe,” Plunkett said.

Garrett

Garrett said he wants to create a council task force to coordinate conversations with mental health and public safety organizations in Zionsville and Boone County.

“Is there anything we can help fund more? I want to know what (schools) need. Do they need more officers, do they need less officers? Garrett said. “I want to hear all of these things to understand what maybe we should do. Let’s not wait for the next budget. If Chief (Michael) Spears (Zionsville Police Department) says, “I need two more officers,” then let’s fund it. I want to hear public safety first.

Garrett said the council had been approached with requests for funding for other projects, but wanted to fund public safety requests first.

“I want to know what they need. I want to finance it. Then, once I’m satisfied they have everything they need, I’m okay with funding other things,” he said.

The task force will immediately begin engaging stakeholders and assessing readiness levels and resources.

“We need to find pragmatic solutions to prevent gun violence right here in our community using whatever means possible at the local level,” said council member Alex Choi. “By ensuring public safety services have the resources and personnel to prevent and respond appropriately to threats to public safety, we can be better prepared to protect ourselves against these events and become a safer community.

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