Thursday, September 19, 2013

IMPD Understaffing Problem Not New

As the budget debate continues at the City-County Council level, one thing remains the same.  The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department did not become understaffed overnight, and Mayor Greg Ballard has known that the issue has existed since he took office.

In fact, it was Ballard that said he could add officers to the streets back in 2007 without asking for more of our money.  I don't remember for certain what the number of officers that he wanted to add was, but it was significant.

Of course, Ballard has spent a lot of time recently telling us that more officers aren't the answer and that it's better policing.  He undermined his own argument back in July by releasing a plan to put more officers on the streets of Indianapolis.  That plan has now come with dollars attached as part of the $432 million public safety budget.  Troy Riggs is good at his job, but he will have to be David Copperfield to solve the woes facing the department.

The goal, according to media reports like this one from WISH, is to put 100 new officers on the street within a year while shifting appropriate duties to civilian employees and combining those reassignments with new recruits.

I'm sure this will be presented by the Ballard Administration as a take-it-or-leave-it approach that won't have any wiggle room from their end for negotiation.  I'm sure that the Ballard Administration will use all the tactics to portray anyone that asks questions as against public safety when he had the opportunity to ease overcrowding by simply choosing cops over cricket.

That's not though.  Some say Mayor Ballard has neglected other possible ways to solve the understaffing issue.  The Fraternal Order of Police has penned a letter saying that Ballard has ignored monetary savings and some of their ideas to help fill the massive staffing gap in.

None of this changes the fact I mentioned at the start of this piece.  IMPD has been understaffed for years...since it merged, in fact.  Mayor Greg Ballard knew that when he was candidate Greg Ballard, and he has done nothing until now.  Remind him of that when he's calling you anti-public safety for asking questions.


Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight: The Lord Mayor wants more cops on the street by reassigning existing officers from desk jobs. Hiring new civilian employees to fill those jobs vacated by the veteran cops and presumably those new employees wil work for free? But more cops on the streets aren't the answer he said. And crime is going down he said. So why more cops? Then he asked for the homestead tax credit to be eliminated to pay for more cops and asked for $135M to finish the Rebuild Indy because he couldn't get it done with almost 400M from the sale of the sewers(Because he paved streets and gave new sidewalks to areas that were not in the greatest need??) Which you might want to pay attention to when CEG finally takes it over on OCt 1 is going to be a disaster for the contractors , engineers and the public who want to submit for and obtain permits and inspections. Fees will be raised and services diminished. and when it all comes apart he'll claim it wasn't him, Troy Riggs is Public Safety. But Ballards slogan was Public Safety Job 1. He hired Straub and ran away from him as soon as it got hot over the Bisard issue. Which the City is being over by it's own cops .But Ballard was the one on day one of his reign that had to take back the PD under his authority and supervision.Ballard said in his campaign against Melina that the mayor really can't affect education all that much . Because she was talking about it. Now he' s Mr. Charter schools and take-overs. I know you know all this already and I'm just venting to a kindred spirit . I hope the next candidate for Mayor wil not be afraid to point out the contradictions and fallacies of Mr Ballard and his overpaid ineffective cronies on the 25th floor. So there.

Jon Easter said...

And Matt Tully says that because we don't fall in line that something is wrong.