Thursday, October 22, 2009

Just Call It Country Club Policing


A friend and contributor of Mayor Greg Ballard is the owner of Maple Creek Country Club on the eastside. It seems he was having a problem with car break-ins and so IMPD gave an IMPD squad car to the owner to park in the parking lot for a month until WXNT's Russ McQuaid showed up and started asking questions. The keys to the car were given to the golf club owner, who would move the car inside and outside of a garage at the beginning and end of each day. McQuaid learned of this special arrangement from a source who furnished him with an internal e-mail discussing the problem of the break-ins at the country club. The police car on loan to the privately-owned county club ended just 7 days after McQuaid learned from his tip what was taking place. With so many of IMPD's officers moonlighting as security officers, you might ask why this private golf club owner couldn't hire one to police his parking lot, or why he didn't install a hidden camera to help nail the culprit. Giving him free use of a police car for 30 days seems a bit eschew, don't you think? As my friend Pat Andrews cracks, is this a fulfillment of Mayor Ballard's campaign promise to end country club politics?

22 comments:

Had Enough Indy? said...

I guess we have a surplus of police vehicles and don't need to spend the millions of dollars allotted to buy new ones in the 2010 budget. Good to know.

How come no wisecracks about 'the end to country-club politics'?

Indy4U2C said...

I think the mayor needs to reimburse the city for gas/mileage on that car's improper conversion to personal use!

-Geeezzzz

How can I sign up to get a police car parked at my business? ...or is campaign $$$ required?

Advance Indiana said...

I added one just for you, Pat.

Downtown Indy said...

Since Ray Cortopassi moved to 59, I detect they are becoming a real investigative force, with or without the trenchcoat and wide-brimmed hat. Russ has always been a bulldog on that, but I think they have taken it up a couple notches.

artfuggins said...

Does it seem sometimes that Mayor Ballard is clueless?

Had Enough Indy? said...

;o) thanks

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

Ernie? Got anything to say?

indyernie said...

It’s going to take a lot more than this to get me to climb on your band wagon.
This practice has been going on for along time. It’s been common regardless of who is in office.
A few years back at a business where I was employed we were offered the use of a police car. We were having problems with theft. I declined.
The car offered wasn’t a road car it was well driven. They are called decoys. It did have lights and decals and we would have control of the keys in case it needed to be moved. We were told that the car couldn’t be driven on the street.
Every Sheriff including Anderson has loaned cars. Every administration including the Peterson administration has made arrangements for cars. This isn’t new. McQuade has made a mountain out of a mole hill.
I don’t agree with the practice but, if the car wasn't parked at the Golf Course it would have been parked at a city lot. At least the course and its neighbors had some crime determent for the month

Paul K. Ogden said...

Dang, it HEI, I was thinking about a quip on country club politics, but didn't have time to post it this morning. Now you've totally diffused it. Thanks a lot.

artfuggins said...

This is scary but Indyernie makes sense and I think I agree with him.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Indyernie,

If the Peterson folks did this you would be the first one to complaint. Situational ethics is so convenient.

Advance Indiana said...

Well, Ernie, Mr. Renner doesn't seem to agree with you and he's in charge of Public Safety.

Indy Student said...

Ernie pretty much made the case that Ballard is just as bad as Peterson.

Had Enough Indy? said...

I'd like to know what the process is to obtain a surplus new squad car to park on your property. Is it a short form or do you also have to submit comparative crime statistics? If its just a favor to a select group of 'friends', then it never should have been done, it should not be done now, and it shouldn't be done in the future. It is not the Mayor's property, and I'm going to guess that this country club owner pays no higher tax rate than anyone else.

I am so tired of the 'but they did it first' excuse. This doesn't pass the smell test.

Downtown Indy said...

It's a far cry from what I agree has been from time to time a 'standard' practice - the decoy car - to putting a roadworthy car into that use.

Given the recurring issues about lots of worn out cars still regular patrol, putting one that looks perfectly serviceable (and I concede that's an assumption on my part) into a decoy situation is extremely poor decision-making.

The official apologist agreed this was a bad idea and stopped it.

No matter how one looks at it, it was not a wise thing to do. It does smack of favoritism whether it was or not. Why did this one person (that just happens to be a friend of the Mayor) not hire an officer to work off-duty if they needed the help, which is truly the 'standard practice?'

indyernie said...

Paul I know for a fact that the Peterson administration did it. I also know that Anderson has done it. It isn‘t unusual for these cars to be parked at apartment complexes for the same reasons.
These cars can and have been used as a determent for years.
How many criminals pass by because they think an officer is on the property? How many people haven’t been harmed? How much real and personal property hasn’t been vandalized? We will never know, but using these cars as a determent makes sense, they are tools.
The cars used generally are cars that are waiting to be liquidated by the city. I don't think using the cars for political purposes is OK but, I understand how they can be used as a determent. Politics shouldn’t play into the use. Has anyone proven that Ballard arranged for the use of this car? The connection could be elsewhere.

indyernie said...

In answer to your comments,

Paul, as usual you are full of crap.

Gary, Renner wasn't in charge ten to twenty years ago...it happened...and I'm glad that the policy has been changed if the use is related to politics...however the idea has worked for years.

Student, don't put words in my mouth...I know what Peterson didn't do (anything) and I know what Ballard has done.

Pat, all you needed to do was complain about crime and ask for help. The car was offered not asked for. Politics didn't play into the offer.

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

I suppose if it's an old police car and nearly broken down, it wouldn't hurt to put them around town as decoys. Ernie, I didn't know they did that.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Indyernie, you actually believe that if anyone asked they would have received the car? You can't be serious. Of course politicsl played a part.

Again, it's always moral relativism on your part. The D's do something you scream and holler that it's unethical. The Ballard adminstration does it and you want to look the other way.

Mark said...

Most Police Departments do this....their is one that sits at in the bank parking lot on Delaware....6th or 7th Delaware St..But I always see Greenwood cars and IMPD Cars sitting in bank parking lots, apt complexes and etc..etc...Ernie is correct this is not new. Because he is a friend of the Mayor it is news...that is the only reason why...otherwise this would not be news...period!

indyernie said...

Paul, politics can play into this and as I have stated earlier...if a car is loaned for political reasons then that is wrong. I also stated before, please read every word...Every Mayor including Peterson can and has arranged for the cars use.
I wouldn't have said a word about Peterson using these cars. I think its a good idea. I got involved in giving Peterson the boot because he wasn't a hands on Mayor while our crime rate went through the roof.
When the car was offered to us it was done by an officer of rank. The Chief nor the Mayor had any knowledge or input, we did not contact them. Until you have the facts Councilor you have nothing.
Quit bashing Ballard without evidence.

indyernie said...

"it's always moral relativism on your part. The D's do something you scream and holler that it's unethical. The Ballard adminstration does it and you want to look the other way."

Its called politics Paul, look that up in your dictionary.
I didn't "scream or holler" when these cars were used by the previous administration.
Again, your facts are incorrect.