FRANKFORT, Ind. (WLFI) — The city of Frankfort is cracking down on drug crimes.
The Police Department was awarded a grant for $7,309 from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute 2020 Edward Byrne JAG. The money will go toward providing cutting-edge technology that'll aid police in catching criminals. This includes surveillance and other similar investigative devices.
Mayor Chris McBarnes said Frankfort is no different than other cities nationwide struggling with drug crimes. But he said the city is doing what they can to help combat the issue.
“Not only to track down the drug dealers and the offenders but on the flip side of that also help people who are in the throngs of addiction,” said McBarnes. “We know we can't arrest our way out of this issue but we want to be hard on those that deal poisons and push these poisons on our street.”
He believes this new technology will benefit not only law enforcement but also the county prosecutor.
“Give him the evidence he needs to take these cases to fruition, to the courtroom, present a demanding conviction upon a jury and upon a judge to say 'hey listen, these people are doing wrong things, they need to go behind bars. We can't have this happening in the city,’” said McBarnes.
The new technology is expected to be in place in early 2020.
The future of Frankfort looks bright according to McBarnes. He's got a few points of action for the new year.
The first is housing, McBarnes said at least 88 new homes are coming to the east and southeast side of town.
"Executives that want to move here, middle-class managers that want to move here, we don't have the housing stock to support this, this is so important because, in terms of job creation, we need to build a workforce that attracts private investment," said McBarnes.
The mayor also has plans to push out water and sewer lines to I-65. He believes this will help with development on SR-28.
"Millions and millions of people pass down 1-65 going from Chicago to Indianapolis on a daily basis and they look off that interchange of State Road 28 and I-65 and all they see is a soybean field and cornfields," said McBarnes. "We need something to say, 'listen this is the gateway to Frankfort, this is the gateway to the vibrancy. It's really our way to connect ourselves to millions and millions of consumers that want to come here and can stimulate our local economy, or families that want to call our community home."
SR-28 will also see reconstruction and added pedestrian trails on each side of the roadway.
"Families, they look for greenspaces, they look for trails, some people, they not only drive to work but they walk to work, they bike to work," said McBarnes. "We passed a complete streets ordinance in our city that says when we rebuild roads we don't just do it for motor-vehicles but we do it for the pedestrians."
McBarnes said these projects are the beginning of a major positive change in the city.
“It's really going to I believe carry our community into the next five decades of growth,” said McBarnes. “For the people who call Frankfort home now, it's going to raise our assessed value. The more assessed value raises, the lower our tax rates will be for everyone.”
McBarnes also plans on finishing the downtown Prairie Creek Park project and beginning construction on the aquatic center next year.
"You need amenities that are going to give families things to do recreational opportunities for the kids and a sense of vibrancy in the community," said McBarnes.
He said each project will have a ripple effect of benefits for the city.
“Quality of place, to job creation, to housing, to recreational amenities and it's all gearing Frankfort toward becoming the next great bedroom community in the state of Indiana, growing our vibrancy,” said McBarnes. “I believe that our best days are yet to come.”