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Police Power: Why Is This Issue At The Top Of The List For Ballard?

QuestionguyHere's something for y'all to chew on while the blogmistress heads to yet another doctor's appointment: Once Ballard takes control of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, then what?

Are criminals going to stop cold in their tracks because the Mayor's in charge? Does the public really care who administratively rules over the officers who show up when they call for help? Is this issue -- the issue itself, not crime generally -- really part of the reason why Ballard won on Tuesday?

No sarcasm intended, but an explanation of why this is a top priority would be most appreciated.

Comments

Because the FOP endorsed him

it's about funding of public safety, good luck Ballard trying to increase that.

Didn't you hear? This is just an opening act while he gets ready to single-handedly solve the property tax problem for the entire state.

Well, "single-handedly" with his new best friend Eric Miller.

Seems short-sighted. At some point, there will be a Repub sheriff and a democrat mayor...they want to give it all away now?

when will gary welsh be appointed communications director?

Jen,

As the (very proud!) sister of an IMPD officer, I can tell you what I have understood of this issue, though I am sure others will take issue with what I say.

There is a certain amount of distrust btwn IPD/ former MCSD officers. IPD is not thrilled being under the County Sheriff, in part (though I think pretty small) because of differences in the city v. county pensions and benefits and concern of favoritism for MCSD guys. Truth is, the FOP never opposed the merger (which apparently many bloggies are unaware of), but rather took issue with alot of the implementation. And, on some points, they have very valid complaints. I think this is incredibly shortsighted on the part of the FOP, mainly because I guess the thinking is, well we like Ballard and the Rs in control of the CCC. But, I think that in the future, not having an elected official (ie the Sheriff) advocating for officers on issues like raises is going to seriously hurt the FOPs ability to negotiate. You lose a lot of leverage when those you are under are the same individuals who control your budget.

Good luck cutting 10% of every city budget. We'll try to remember that when our streets aren't plowed, trash isn't picked up, parks close, etc.

and Darla as city attorney, IndyErnie in charge of the county vehicles and Melyssa as "Diversity Enforcer" ?

TDW, this question coming from the little reporter who was going to join the police academy? Seriously, crime is on people's minds. The cops are disillusioned, for good reasons. By reclaiming the force, Ballard will, at the very least, improve morale, clean up cronyism and restore community policing. Will crime fall? Watch and see. But Indy is in the crosshairs now, with a lot of gangs coming from LA. Many fine officers left IPD during the merger. This will at least restore respect among the ranks...equallize the county and city. Etc.

I think the police merger was handled so incompetently, it resulted in a demoralized police force that was hardly organized in a way that best equipped them to handle the rising crime in the city. Call the Indy Undercover guys "nutters" all you want, but they repeatedly pointed out baffling moves by IMPD in terms of patrol assignments, rules for calling for backup, and seemingly inconsistent discipline of officers that appeared to be based on cronyism rather than standards. Anderson had zero credibility when all it took for him to accept the merger was a substantial pay raise.

It's an issue of accountability. People will blame any mayor for crime, no matter how the org chart reads. The buck should stop at the mayor's office. In truth, Anderson and Peterson worked together on law enforcement, but that was because they were (usually) allies. If I was mayor, I'd want the police chief to answer to me.

Riley,

That is exactly what Bart wanted, but Frank refused to go along with that. And for very good reason. An elected person should be solely and directly responsible for law enforcement. Not, the Mayor who appoints a Police Chief (that is the definition of NOT direct). Crime goes up- put in a new chief. But, who selects? Not the voters, the Mayor.

I'm waiting to see where this 10%/70 million comes from.

Unless Ballard plans on closing the parks dept etc, Public Safety will need to be cut.

I look for a hiring freeze with IMPD and the loss of 100-200 firefighters.

BTW, yesterday a Republican public safety manager (won't say what agency) told me Indianapolis had more firefighters per citizen than any other US city, save one.

What's that plan sound like to you?

Police Academy?

TDW, is there anything you haven't done or wanted to do?

As a supporter and volunteer for Ballard, I can say that Greg COULD be a good mayor.
His first mistake is to appoint that a-hole, John Cochran, to his transition team.
Ever time i would walk into MCRCC, I was given the cold shoulder.
I delivered over 500 signs, along with the handout cards, and his bumper stickers. I made phone calls, I spent about $800.00 for gas on his campaign alone, a flat tire, and then I froze my butt off on election day.
Ater I went home, showered, and dressed for a party, got to the Murat, and was treated like a second class citizen.
Greg didn't remember my name... he was "done with me"
John Cochran wouldn't even speak to me.
Tom John didn't even acknowledge me.
Kurt Fullback said Hi, but didn't remember my name.
Now that Greg has a lot of appointments to make, he'll be guided by the people who were paid to support him, not the people who supported him because they believe in him. I now believe that Ballard will fail as Mayor because he is surrounding himself with idiots that were PAID by the MCRCC.
His true supporters were left out in the cold.(the ones who stood out at the polls, for FREE)

Good Luck, Greg!! You're going to need it!!!

Sounds like somebody got "flipped" ...

It doesn't surprise me at all this is issue #1, because I believe the disgruntled police very effectively joined forces with property tax protest groups to create the momentum against Peterson (and for GB by default). Much easier to start "doing something" re: IMPD in the CCC and fight w. the Sheriff than to "do something" about property taxes... That said, I already heard yesterday the backpedaling when Ballard was asked about restoring community policing, and noted that CP was funded by grants, and those grants ran out. IIRC, that was Clinton Admin. federal funding. As I view the merger at this point, it was basically extended the woeful lack of personnel to cover areas that the SHerrif's Dept had before to a county-wide problem. Just my observation.

this is easy. frank anderson and his patronage system.

next question.

It's amazing how much someone who escaped from the big city to Putnam County (Ruth Holladay) thinks she knows about Marion County.

hey sorry I wasted my timeon him, welcome to "what-did-you-expect-ville" 4 years of "i'll do what he's doing, just better with less money"

So an election dominated by the tax issue and Ballard's first issue is take the police back. If I was Frank A. I would give the malcontents in the Police Dept. to him, but I would rather have a professional dealing with the dept. instead of the amateur.

Not to be too simplistic, but it would appear that there were promises made for votes rendered. Just that simple. Well, unless the promises are not providable. We'll have to see, won't we?

Frank puts people in power that support him with money and party ties. This is the biggest reason that the IMPD should be placed under the Mayor's control.

Candidates make promises to get votes. I get that. I guess what I can't figure out is whether any ordinary people voted for Ballard because of his IMPD promise.

I mean, back in 2003, Greg Jordan ran with the FOP talking points, and he got creamed.

So, if people are really mad about taxes, how does the power structure of IMPD merit top billing right now?

I think Ballard and the GOP controlled CCC should start with a big savings for the taxpayers...like repealing the COIT tax increase. That way he he will be killing two birds with one stone. Police and saving the taxpayers money. The FOP didnt support Peterson on this issue, Ballard didn't and the voters didnt. How about it Greg. What ya goin do huh. The hell with the Police pensions. That's what you GOP predecessors did. And good luck with your property tax relief plan. What was it again? Oh, you did not say what it was now did you.

arnie,

I've been working on a post about the COIT repeal. In fact, maybe it should happen before the end of the year, so Ballard and the GOP Council can start from scratch and raise whatever taxes they want to raise in order to pay the bills.

The sooner the better Jen. I want to put their to the fire.

The fact is that the police control the crime rate in one way -- by choosing to take a report or not. If police take a run regarding a theft, and then tell the person that their insurance will just go up, and they have no hope of getting their property back, people won't file reports.

I expect a sudden drop in reported crime the last month in the year.

Also, what was rapheal Sanchez doing one of his loaded pieces on "crime downtown" the night before an election? i've heard enough claptrap about the liberal media

Not even in power yet and you're ready to ride them on a rail out of town. Nice.

Honeymoon's over before the end of the reception.

Really it's pretty simple. The men and women of IPD have said all along that the police force needs to stay under the control of the Mayor's office. Even when Mr. Peterson was mayor. Try reading these two sites and you'll have a better understanding. And 10:54, apparently Ruth is more in touch with the voters of Marion County than the democratic party. She makes a lot of valid points.

ruthholladay.com

indyundercover.blogspot.com

1:43, if you think that the hate and bile that passes for indy undercover provides a valid understanding of police, then you don't understand the difference between reasonable people and the lunatic fringe. And indy undercover is a lunatic and fringe as they come

Why leave Frank Anderson in control, what does he know about law enforcement? Ok, yeah he was a US Marshall and he has spent his entire adult life as a police officer, but does that really qualify him to run the IMPD? My uncle served in the Navy a few decades ago and was a security guard about 10 years ago, maybe he could be Chief of Police. His resume for the job is about as impressive as Greg Ballard's is for being mayor.

1:48 is absolutely right.

I know multiple police officers for several different agencies--IPS, IMPD, State, Johnson County, among a few.

Almost to a person, they dlon't care who governs them. They care that they're appreciated, properly paid, properly pensioned, and have reliable equipment and supervision. And almost to a person, those officers, of all ages, think the IndyU folks are a small band of nutcases.

I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard one of those officers say: "Please don't judge us by the actions of the IndyU crowd."

I think they all know we citizens appreciate them. Through the political fog, they don't always feel the politicians appreciate them. And that makes it difficult.

I say let Ballard do whatever he has the Juice to do. To borrow an over-used phrase.

sorry I wasted my timeon him, you should be commended for working so hard for your candidate. But what was one of the many fringe mantras we heard all through the campaign? Oh yeah... you got the mayor you deserved. Too soon to tell if the rest of us did or not.

On topic, I think Ballard is going for IMPD control because a) the FOP told him to, b) he can flex his new power and give his CCC something to do that looks important, and c) it is waaaaay easier a task than messing with the tax issues.

As for IndyU, I scoff. I know lots of LEOs and none of them come off as lazy and whiny as the ones on that blog.

Sorry to disaapoint you folks but the IndyU crowd is the vast majority of the police department. Everybody reads it and everybody talks about it. Admittedly some of the anonymous comments are over the top…but they’re anonymous and I sincerely doubt they were written by real IMPD officers. I can also assure you that those "over the top comments" do not represent the vast majority of the department.

The simple fact is that the way a business is managed correlates directly with the overall success of the company. The same is true of the police department. How is a department under the Mayor going to improve the city? You’re going to see a huge increase in morale. Don't underestimate the impact this will have on the department and Indianapolis. The leadership the sheriff put in place on IMPD came to the department with a “big me” “little you” attitude. This only fueled the resentment many of us already felt over the ill conceived merger. What's worse is that they really didn't know what they were doing and in many instances they still don't. Before consolidation there was a layer of insulation between the mayors office and the police department which minimized the politics. While there were still politics being played at IPD they were at a low level and mostly the appointments were made based on qualifications. The sheriff’s appointments have been overly obvious about political paybacks as a reward and demotions/reassignments as political revenge. It makes a huge difference for the rank and file to have respect and believe in their leadership. We have men and women in our ranks now who will make excellent leaders and can take this department to the next level. I feel confident that the new administration will be made up of these people and restore a level of professionalism to the police department we have not seen for some time. Also, I think you’re going to see the restoration of community policing that has been deteriorating over the past few years. From our perspective what we’ve seen going on in Indy neighborhoods lately has been very painful. Most of the officers grew up in Indianapolis and care deeply not only about the city but our neighbors as well. We understand that the police are the community and the community are the police. For many of us, this election was about more than just trying to repair a heavily damaged police department but also about putting the police back in the communities and saving our city.

"Sorry to disappoint" above was right on point. I don't just know "officers" , I actually have worked for IPD /impd for 16 years.

Because of where I work I come into contact with officers from all the districts. Believe me, the indyU crowd is the way officers have been feeling for a year. Take away the 10 percent of offending posts, and you get the pulse of the department. Sorry , if it is not what you want,

Trust me, there are just a few more then 15 people posting over there.

If IndyU represents the majority of IMPD then we need to fire the whole lot and start over!

7:52, I'm sure Mr. Peterson would agree with you!

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