Daily Journal: Republican governor candidate Brad Chambers talks public safety plan

By Noah Crenshaw
Daily Journal

FRANKLIN, Ind. — Indiana gubernatorial candidate Brad Chambers has released a new public safety plan that he says will lead to a safer Indiana — if he’s elected.

Chambers, one of five Republicans seeking the governor’s office next year, released Wednesday a seven-point plan addressing bail, qualified immunity, police recruitment, mental health and more. The former Indiana commerce secretary discussed the plan during an interview at the Daily Journal’s office in Franklin Wednesday evening.

He was one of the last Republican candidates to announce they were running for governor, which he did in August. The lifelong Hoosier and entrepreneur said he started late because he wanted to make sure he was “running for the right reasons.”

“I believe Indiana’s great but it can be exceptional — and that is exactly why I’m in this race,” Chambers said.

Despite getting in the race late, Chambers says he believes his message is resonating with voters. By the end of the year, he expects to meet the threshold to be on primary ballots next May. One of his opponents, businessman Eric Doden, announced he met the threshold earlier this week.

Chambers is running for Indiana governor against seven candidates as of Nov. 16 — five Republicans, one Democrat and one Libertarian.

Bail, qualified immunity plans

On Wednesday, Chambers released a seven-pillar plan that his campaign says will strengthen support for first responders. The plan, dubbed “Protect and Serve,” is brd on feedback he’s heard from first responders he has met in his travels around the state.

“Everything in that plan has been organically developed through interactions, meeting and listening to our first responders and our law enforcement,” he said.

The plan’s first pillar addresses mandatory minimum bail for violent and repeat offenders. Chambers says judicial discretion has generally been too lenient and has put Hoosiers at risk.

“What’s not helping is when a guy is working hard putting his life at risk, and he takes someone who’s arrested and they book him in and he’s released the next day for $500 bucks,” Chambers said. “That’s not helpful. It is demoralizing to the guys that are trying to put criminals in jail, and it creates a risk to the community.”

While he is for low regulation, Chambers says there needs to be consistency in bail standards. It can’t be so flexible that it’s creating a disincentive to arrest people, he said.

Chambers also plans to strengthen qualified immunity for law enforcement and first responders by codifying it into state law. Not having it codified makes an “already hard job harder,” and if it were to be codified, it would take some stress away from police, he said.

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