Melina Kennedy, Democratic candidate for mayor of Indianapolis, has received the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police in the upcoming municipal election.
"I am pleased to earn the endorsement and grateful to the FOP and the officers for their support," said Kennedy. "I am committed to each of the men and women who put their lives on the line each day to protect the residents of Indianapolis. This is about mutual trust and respect, and I am committed to honoring my word."
"Four years ago, candidate Greg Ballard said public safety was job No. 1," said Kennedy. "But the fact is serious crimes like aggravated assaults and murders are up. Crime prevention funding has been cut, there are fewer officers patrolling our streets, and residents across our city feel less safe than they did four years ago. And Mayor Ballard's recent decision to restructure police patrols from beat coverage to zone coverage further reduces the ability to effectively fight crime."
"We can do better. We need public safety leadership that is accountable. Indianapolis residents deserve a mayor who follows through on commitments to make Indianapolis safe and secure. And the police deserve a mayor who will honor his or her commitments - my word is my bond. The police can be assured that I will not play political games with contracts or pensions," Kennedy concluded.
Republican Mayor Ballard's office released a statement following the FOP endorsement of his election opponent.
"I respect the dedicated men and women of IMPD whose hard work has helped reduce overall crime and reduce violent crime in the last three years," he said.
"The news of the endorsement doesn't surprise me. As mayor, I have brought changes and greater accountability to IMPD through performance standards, merit-based promotional policies, and stronger behavioral policies. Constantly improving IMPD is the right thing to do, and I am concerned that my opponent may undo important and necessary changes that we have made," according to his statement.
"My goal is for IMPD to be one of the most respected police departments in the nation and as long as I am mayor, I am committed to that goal and to continue making our city safer," Ballard said.
Just over a month ago, candidate Kennedy announced a plan to reduce crime in Indianapolis and get illegal guns, gangs and drugs off the streets and out of Indianapolis neighborhoods.
Among some of her proposals were:
• True community policing.
• Increase the number of police officers.
• Attack illegal guns.
• Crime prevention.
• Creation of drug enforcement and initiatives director.
The election will be Nov. 8.