The Purpose of the Zionsville Public Safety Task Force

July 2022

In the wake of the latest mass shootings that have devastated communities across the country, Zionsville City Council members decided it was time to put their thoughts into purposeful action.

Carefully review current public safety measures

On June 8, 2022, the Zionsville City Council announced the creation of a Public Safety Task Force to review issues related to the safety of the community and Zionsville students and staff at all schools in the area. . The task force, led by councilors Alex Choi, Brad Burk and Josh Garrett, is assessing staffing, training and equipment needs for the city council to work with the city administration to identify options to meet the immediate needs before the next budget cycle.

“This working group is designed to get input from key stakeholders to better understand what they need, but also to help move things forward with actionable pieces,” Plunkett said. “This [task force] has no political motivation. It has everything to do with public safety. As the tax agency for the town of Zionsville, if the police or the fire department needs anything, personnel or other support, we certainly work with the services and [town’s] administration to ensure that we fill these gaps and provide what is needed for all of our public safety officials.

City councilors are actively discussing ways to improve public safety, including steps that could be taken to prevent an event, such as the recent tragedies in Uvalde, Texas; Highland Park, Ill.; and as close to home as Greenwood, Ind. Advisors are also exploring how local governments can help meet these challenges. Inputs and data, which will be reported back to city council meetings by the working group and eventually compiled into an executive summary, will better inform city council on what actionable items are needed, if any identified during this review process. exam.

Minimize the risks and consequences of violence

City Council member Alex Choi is one of three councilors leading the public safety task force.

“We take the initiative to try to determine if we are doing the things that we are able to do to ensure that we are providing security and minimizing [violent acts] to happen,” Choi explained. “We know we can’t completely prevent these events from happening, but we are looking at what we are doing to deter these events and how would we minimize the effects if they did happen.”

Zionsville Public Safety Task Force
Alexander Choi

Immediately actionable items that the task force is working on include recruiting an intern and acclimating that person to the mission and key stakeholders. At the time of publication, Choi was working on selecting an intern and the three counselors were in the process of contacting all stakeholders, including Zionsville Community Schools, Zionsville Police and Fire Department, Department of Boone County Sheriff, Mayor Emily Styron and the mental health organizations that serve the communities of Zionsville and Boone [County].

Choi added, “The initial part focuses on gathering all the information and finding our gaps, if we have any. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered, and we are trying to answer them as well. We look at what other communities are doing in this area and nationally and look at their best practices. Until we look at other places and what they’ve done, we won’t know what’s available to us.

Bearing in mind that communities like Carmel and Whitestown don’t have the income to match Zionsville, Choi said, “We don’t have the same kind of financial resources as other nearby communities because of [Zionsville] being essentially residential. This will be one of the biggest challenges. »

Additionally, Choi mentioned that the council will discuss the community’s response to any acts of violence that impact the public safety of the community – in particular, addressing the post-event mental health and counseling needs of those who could be affected by such an event.

The task force plans to meet once every two weeks and will provide updates on the situation at regular city council meetings.

For questions related to the Public Safety Task Force, email Councilman Alex Choi at [email protected]

Key words Alex Choi Boone County Jason Plunkett The Town of Zionsville City of Zionsville Zionsville Public Safety Task Force Zionsville City Council

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