From the moment I accepted the position of IFD Chief in 2008, I placed a high value on the importance of an open door policy and open lines of communication between my office and you. The week’s end reports have been one way to try and maintain that vision and communicate important information to each and every one of you in a more personal yet timely fashion. Often times I hear that most of you go straight to the “rumors” section of my week’s end reports and work your way up. Today I am going to put the rumors portion at the top and address a rumor that has been circulating for quite some time.
As will be announced later today, I will be stepping down as the Chief of IFD and stepping into the role of “Chief of Staff” for Director Riggs and the Department of Public Safety. A definitive date for full retirement from IFD has yet to be decided. Between now and then a process will occur to select a new Chief to lead the Department going forward. In my new role as Chief of Staff I am looking forward to continuing my working relationship with each and every one of you in addition to a broader role with the other 7 divisions of DPS. More information will be forthcoming but I can tell you that the same value I place on our lines of communication now will remain a priority with my new position. My e-mail address is still the same…only my office will be down the hall.
I appreciate all of the concern that has been shown to me as I deal with my ongoing health issues and understand better than anyone the future physical limitations I will incur. I feel honored that the Director has asked me to take on an even larger role in Public Safety and know that IFD will continue to remain the finest fire department in the country.
As we all know, the current speed of social media makes it almost impossible for me to deliver the message to each of you personally. For those of you who do not see it here first…I apologize. I continue to cherish the opportunity to work with each of you and look forward to this new opportunity. Please see the press release below for greater detail.
Meanwhile, the Department will continue its push to sock Indianapolis taxpayers with at least another $28 million a year public safety tax increase it says is needed to hire more police officers. Critics have complained that DPS' administrative costs have skyrocketed since Mayor Greg Ballard took office in 2008, creating a bunch of do-nothing political hack jobs in the Department. DPS, under the leadership of former Director Frank Straub, was responsible for entering into the costly and one-sided lease agreement for the Regional Operations Center ("ROC") that the agency had to abandon last year due to unsafe conditions. City taxpayers will pay out $20 million over a 25-year period for a building that everyone now agrees is simply not suited for its purpose as the Ballard administration prepares to launch a plan to build a half-billion dollar criminal justice complex that would likely be built to house the ROC. Straub also spent lavishly on remodeling DPS' administrative offices, including the installation of a shower for his personal use. The Department has gone through successive Animal Care & Control directors like kleenex, and the persistent problems with the management of IMPD never seem to end. Unlike Straub, however, Riggs has managed to wrap the media around his little finger by making them honorary public safety directors for a day and kissing their butts, while continuing the tradition of gross incompetence in the administration of our public safety agencies.