Thursday, July 17, 2014

Study: Merger Creating IMPD Short on Savings

Former Mayor Bart Peterson
The merger that brought about the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department was back in the spotlight again today.

Fox 59's Russ McQuaid reported on a study commissioned by the City-County Council that showed no savings came from the merger of the Indianapolis Police Department and the Marion County Sheriff's Department Patrol Division.  It also showed that the merged department was about 100 employees short of its 2006 strength.

I supported the merger, and I took then-Mayor Bart Peterson and his administration at its word about what would happen in a merged department.  I thought the merger made sense from a logistical standpoint.  I guess I was wrong.

What also needs to be part of the story but was not reported by Fox 59 is that Mayor Peterson was in charge of merged IMPD for exactly zero days.  Under his version of the merger, IMPD was originally supposed to be under the responsibility of a three person panel (including the Mayor).  When that attracted criticism, the proposal was changed to put IMPD under the control of Sheriff Frank Anderson.

Sheriff Anderson had control of IMPD for about a year until Greg Ballard became Mayor.  Mayor Ballard, as one of his first acts in office, wrested control of IMPD back from Sheriff Anderson and put it back in his office under the control of the Public Safety Director.

Blame Bart if you wish, but Mayor Ballard has been in charge of IMPD since early 2008.  If you're going to blame Peterson for IMPD's shortcomings, then you have to blame Ballard.

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