|IMPD Chief-to-be Troy Riggs|
The Mayor-Elect of Indianapolis announced on Tuesday that Troy Riggs, former Public Safety Director under Mayor Greg Ballard, would become the Chief of Police as of January 1. The Indianapolis Star also reports that Hogsett has decided to have Riggs and the Chief of the Indianapolis Fire Department report directly to him. This would seem to eliminate the middle position of Public Safety Director…at least in its current role.
Riggs, a former Police Chief of the Corpus Christi Police Department, will replace Rick Hite.
It’s not uncommon at all to replace the Chief of Police for an incoming administration though Ballard did not replace Michael Spears when he became Mayor. He did, however, beef up the job of Public Safety Director hiring the incredibly controversial Dr. Frank Straub towards the end of his first term who went on to alienate many in the city’s public safety departments. Many say it cost Ballard the “hearts and minds” of the officers working under him.
This new arrangement, however, means that there now appears to be no buffer between Hogsett and public safety. It’s all on him now, sink or swim. Hogsett, a former U.S. Attorney seems to relish the role of crime fighter, and he ran on reducing crime and improving public safety in the city. This is his first move, and it’s a strong one.
Despite Riggs being a Ballard appointee, I think he did an excellent job cleaning up a lot of the mess left behind by Straub. People on both sides of the political aisle speak very highly of Riggs, and I think it’s an excellent choice for IMPD Chief given his depth of experience.