Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Public Safety Director Criticizes Churches For Not Contributing To Public Safety Foundation Controlled By Downtown Mafia

The downtown mafia recently created yet another nonprofit organization about a year ago, the Indy Public Safety Foundation, to which part of the million bucks in crime prevention grant money doled out by the City of Indianapolis is funneled through the Central Indiana Community Foundation, which administers the grant money. Public Safety Director Troy Riggs sits on the board of the public safety foundation, along with the usual suspects who scheme to operate Indianapolis city-county government for their own self-enrichment purposes.  Comments Riggs attributed to Riggs in a recent column by the Star's Erika Smith has set off a bit of a firestorm among churches. It seems Riggs and the Indy Public Safety Foundation went around hitting up churches to kick in money for a program sponsored by the foundation to create make-work jobs for inner city teens to keep them busy so they won't be breaking into people's homes and shooting each other during their summer break from school. Here's what Riggs told Smith:
. . . We have a hard time working together for the common good because all of those things get in the way.
For an example, look no further than Riggs’ current source of ire — churches.
In preparation for the long-hyped plan to create jobs for teens who otherwise would be running the streets this summer, Riggs spent weeks canvassing the community for donations to the Indy Public Safety Foundation. He ended up with about $35,000, mostly from large institutions.
“We didn’t get a dime from any church,” he said. Instead what he got was resistance.
That meant a few hundred kids who wanted a job this summer couldn’t get one.
Next up, Riggs wants to help the thousands of teenage mothers who are trying to break the cycle of poverty — and violent crime — by finishing school, becoming self-sufficient and being good parents. He needs donations. But he’s not optimistic about that one either.
“I’m not making any political statements here. It’s just the way the world is,” Riggs said. “We have a group of wealthy, predominantly suburban churches that are against abortion. We have young ladies in the inner city that have been sexually assaulted — had a child because of that sexual assault because they made a decision to keep that child because, morally, they thought that’s what they needed to do.
“Why in the world aren’t these churches helping these young mothers?”
First of all, Riggs' job is to direct the various public safety agencies, not fundraising for a nonprofit foundation. Secondly, the foundation is trying to create entirely new programs that compete with existing government-funded and other nonprofit programs that have been around a lot longer than the past year, a number of which are administered by various church organizations. Only a few weeks ago the Indy Parks run by the administration in which Riggs serves complained that it was going to have to cut back hours of operations at the city's pools this summer because it couldn't find enough lifeguards to fill all of the summer job openings. Just who does Riggs think he is to demand that churches give money to a newly-created foundation with programs at cross-purposes with existing programs, and to seemingly blame them for the crime problems the city faces?

Riggs, by the way, gave an interview to radio talk show host Amos Brown. Ironically, Riggs had to call into the show from Texas where he was with his sons, who were attending a church-run sports camp in Texas where he formerly lived. He reiterated his concern that churches and businesses aren't doing enough to help combat the crime and violence in Indianapolis. If Riggs really gave a damn about public safety, he might ask one of his fellow board members, Pacers Sports & Entertainment's Jim Morris, to give back some of the tens of millions of dollars annually his billionaire boss is selfishly hogging for the Pacers before he criticizes others not on the public dole for not doing their fair share. Riggs might also stop wasting more taxpayers' money by creating a new high-paid position in his own office for retiring fire chief Brian Sanford, a position he said only a couple of years ago was not needed and spend that money instead on hiring more police officers. Interestingly, the $35,000 Riggs said the foundation raised was given to certain inner-city churches to run summer jobs programs, which might explain why some churches were reluctant in the first place to waste money on programs that have been exploited for personal use in the past by a few unscrupulous ministers who always seem to get their hands on this money.


Flogger said...

This critique by Riggs has familiar lyrics. I worked for Large Corporations my entire work life. We always had a new plan presented to us worker bees from the Top. If and when the New Plan failed it was not a design flaw in the New Plan, it was us Worker Bees who failed. So Riggs and Mayor Blowholes War on Crime has failed, thus blame some one else.

I must say I have a real issue with the State using the Religious Establishment to keep a lid on things.

The other issue I have is the stunning abject failure of our Sports-Hospitality Industry to generate jobs. We have spent billions on Stadiums and Direct and Indirect Subsidies for this "Industry." The result as I see it is Minimum Wage or near minimum wage Part-Time Jobs.

The Web Page for the Indy Public Safety Foundation you directed us to says the following: The Indy Public Safety Foundation maintains a non-remunerated Board of Directors representing a large cross section of the community. The Board conscientiously and carefully maintains oversight of strategic planning, program selection & review, long-range budgeting, and overall operations.

Wow what a pile of Corporate Doublespeak. 22 Board Members I counted. 17 Members are White Males, so much for diversity. No African-American Males. Need I say it this is NOT A Cross section of the Indianapolis Population. Perhaps by "Cross Section" they meant a Cross Section of the 1% White Males. Any Comments on that Erica or Tully??? Maybe some of these Board Members have driven through a poor Neighborhoods, but I think I would be safe in saying they do not live in a poor crime ridden neighborhood.

Finally, Erica has her usual "Lets All Hug and Pray" Column and everything will be better.

Marycatherine Barton said...

I hope Riggs reads this report and comment. Thanks Gary and Flogger.