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Central Indiana State Senators are joining forces to fight the increase in crime occurring in Marion County and other areas of the state.

State Sens. Michael Crider (R-Greenfield), Patricia Miller (R-Indianapolis), Scott Schneider (R-Indianapolis), Brent Waltz (R-Greenwood) and R. Michael Young (R-Indianapolis) are authoring a crime-reduction package to better protect Hoosier citizens by keeping police officers safe, providing prosecutors stronger sentencing tools, directing funds to high-crime areas and denying record expungement to violent felons.

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Central Indiana State Senators come together at the Indiana Law Enforcement and Firefighters Memorial Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, to introduce a legislative crime-reduction package. Those working together to fight crime in Marion County and other areas of the state include (from left to right) Tim Downs, the president of the Indiana FOP; Richard Snyder, the president of Indianapolis FOP Lodge 86; State Sen. Patricia Miller (R-Indianapolis); State Sen. Michael Crider (R-Greenfield); State Sen. R. Michael Young (R-Indianapolis); State Sen. Scott Schneider (R-Indianapolis); State Sen. Brent Waltz (R-Greenwood); David Powell, the executive director of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council; and Troy Riggs, the Indianapolis public safety director.

 

Young’s Senate Bill 559 increases the sentence for a crime by 20 years if a firearm was pointed or discharged at a police officer during the commission of the crime.

“We want to keep our police officers safe, keep violent criminals off the streets and keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous people who want to harm others,” said Young, chair of the Senate Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law. “Hopefully we can dissuade criminals from harming our brave officers and innocent citizens. If stronger sentences won’t deter them, then they will be locked up for longer periods of time, keeping them off our streets.”

Schneider is authoring Senate Bill 92 to strengthen sentencing for violent felons who unlawfully possess a deadly weapon and for criminals who possess a deadly weapon while dealing with controlled substances.

The proposal also adds offenses like resisting law enforcement, child molestation, burglary, robbery and battery to the list of crimes that are eligible for a sentencing enhancement if a deadly weapon is used to commit the crime.

“The goal is to keep violent offenders off the streets,” Schneider said. “This proposal gives prosecutors more tools to identify criminals who are prone to violent crime before they become habitual offenders.”

Crider, Colonel and former director of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources division of law enforcement, is authoring Senate Bill 94 to provide prosecutors stronger sentencing tools by modifying the statute of limitations for filing rape charges.

“Currently in Indiana, the statute of limitations for filing rape charges is five years,” Crider said. “My bill will extend the statute of limitations by an additional five years if there is a confession, if new DNA evidence is identified or the original police report said ‘unknown suspect’ and a suspect is later identified.”

Waltz’s Senate Bill 551 would establish a police-enhancement pilot program that will direct $200,000 per year to Marion, Lake and Allen counties for the next two years.

“The additional money will fund a rapid response, getting law enforcement into high-crime areas as well as deterring criminals from invading neighborhoods at risk of increased criminal activity,” Waltz said.

Miller’s Senate Bill 164 denies record expungement to criminals with two convictions using a deadly weapon.

“Violent offenders should not be able to get their records expunged,” Miller said.

Immediately following the announcement of the crime-reduction package, Crider, Miller, Schneider, Waltz and Young officially filed their bills. Bill packets will be uploaded to www.in.gov/legislative.