Saturday, January 24, 2015

Who's Paying For Added Security At Castleton Square Mall?

An Advance Indiana reader sends a tip that if accurate raises some serious concerns about who is paying for beefed up security at Castleton Square Mall. The tipster claims Marion Co. Sheriff John Layton's department is providing extra deputies to police the mall, some of whom are receiving overtime pay. The reader wants to know why taxpayers are paying to provide extra security to the Simon-owned mall.

The reader notes that the sheriff's law enforcement responsibilities were taken away from his department with the merger of deputies who formerly provided policing services with the former Indianapolis Police Department to become IMPD back in 2005. Remaining deputies in the sheriff's department act only as "special deputies," which provides them law enforcement duties limited to their assigned duties. "If they are assigned duties for which the sheriff does not have, are they law enforcement officers," the reader asks.

All good questions. Perhaps someone from the Sheriff's Department can respond to them. Various news reports following the weekend brawl that broke out earlier this month quoted mall officials as saying the mall was paying for extra security at the mall, along with some additional IMPD officers who would be assigned to patrol the area.

The public should also be very concerned that it appears the extra $29 million you're paying in higher taxes this year to hire more police officers is being spent elsewhere. Despite claims money was set aside in last year's budget to hire more police officers, the net increase in staffing was fewer than 10 police officers because of the high attrition rate attributed to retirements and voluntary and involuntary terminations. I've said all along the tax increase was nothing but a bait-and-switch just like the massive 2007 tax increase supposedly intended for public safety. If a $90 million tax increase resulted in fewer, not more police officers, does anyone believe a tax increase a third that size will result in the hiring of hundreds of additional police officers?

The administration is banking on having those additional tax dollars to pay for the costly new criminal justice center it is proposing, which will require additional payments of close to $50 million a year. I continue to hear rumors that City-County Councilors are being bribed, if not heavily coerced by threats, into supporting the controversial P3 project, which I've already proven to our readers was a rigged bidding process no matter how much our useless local media chooses to ignore that fact.


Anonymous said...

Under the morally and ethically rudderless Greg Ballard, Marion County taxpayers experienced tax increases promised for one area often allocated to an entirely different area. Ballard's two term in office can be summed up as "Ballard Lies."

The City and Council Democrats participated- sometimes covertly- in these lies almost every step of the way. NOTHING will change under Joe Hogsett except perhaps the playbill of entitled insider pay-to-players who will fund his campaign chest with the millions developers and engineers are wont to do.

If this City were fortunate to have a mayor in the form of Gary Welsh or the most honorable Christine Scales I dare say cronyism and insider deals would swiftly become a thing of the past.

But if wishes were horses, we'd all be riding wouldn't we?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing about this. I wondered if the taxpayers were covering costs that should be paid by Simon management. Needs to be brought to light!

Anonymous said...

Wow, the gravy train just doesn't quit for the well connected, does it?

Public safety is the cash cow in Indianapolis. Want to justify an oversized project we really don't need? Build it under the guise of public safety. Want to hide a few make-work jobs? Put them under public safety. Seriously, the cookie jar is so huge, there's less chance of someone noticing.

Can someone explain to me why the sheriff's department had over 1,100 employees in 2013? A private company staffs the larger jail. Layton's department staffs the smaller jail, processing, and carts arrestees and prisoners around - with 1,100 employees!!

Indy Department of Public Safety had over 3,300 on the payroll in 2013, with 192 clearing 90k. And if you really want to see something disgusting, look at the Citizens payroll in 2013. Over 1,200 employees in 2013, 256 making over 90k.

Anonymous said...

I found some very interesting Indiana Law under 36-8-10:

(f) The sheriff, for the purpose of guarding prisoners in the county jail:
(2) in counties having a consolidated city, shall appoint only special deputies to serve as county jail guards.

The sheriff may appoint as a special deputy any person who is employed by a governmental entity, the nature of which employment necessitates that the person have the powers of a law enforcement officer. During the term of his appointment and while he is fulfilling the specific responsibilities for which the appointment is made, a special deputy has the powers, privileges, and duties of a county police officer under this chapter, subject to any written limitations and specific requirements imposed by the sheriff and signed by the special deputy.

It seems to me that jail guards are not appointed special deputies to provide private security for Simon Properties, thus removing their law enforcement powers while so serving Simon.

Anonymous said...

The law appears to allow jail guards who are not trained as police officers to have law enforcement powers to perform their duty as jail guards, not to be the police.

So why are they apparently serving as private police for Simon at our expense?

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget making traffic stops and serving warrants. All without any substantial training.

And wasn't the merger supposed to reduce cost? I believe it expanded IPD's budget (b/c they became IMPD) which is totally understandable. But the MCSD's budget has swollen back up to higher than it was pre-merger. A total joke and yet another thing paid for by tax payers.

Anonymous said...

At the merger the Sheriff kept his original budget...IMPD had to scramble to come up with the money to pay for the 400+ deputies that became IMPD. MCSD's budget never shrank....MCSD was supposed to fork over the money to pay for the 400 deputies and didn't.

Anonymous said...

The mall hires off duty officers who are deputies. The night of the fight one of the off duty deputies made light of the situation over the police radio. He disregarded help from IMPD and said the 911 caller was over reacting.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:00 P.M.: Explain these factors: It has been reported that the Marion County Sheriff is paying overtime to Special Deputies (jail guards) to POLICE the mall.

Who pays the deputies who POLICE the mall? Are they by law given Law Enforcement Officer powers? If so, explain it!

Bottom line: It appears that Political Patronage is at work here. Do The Simon's give The Sheriff access to their games? Are those claimed on proper ethics statements and tax returns? Why are they provided?

-Questions we TAXpayers want to know!

If a jail guard announced lightly that REAL POLICE were not needed the night of the RIOT at Castleton Square Mall, a Simon Property, then why? Was it because he thought he was in The Jail, a secured facility that deals with mostly UNARMED ATTACKS? -or because he was not trained in POLICE work?

Anonymous said...

-Why are off duty jail guards disregarding The REAL POLICE???

Anonymous said...

Think....MERGER.. Sheriff Layton (Anderson) and MCSD have money and IMPD does not. IMPD has not been properly budgeted thanks in part to Councilman Talley, Adams, etc... Sheriff had roughly 400 deputies transferred from the county budget to city. However, the dollars for those personnel were not accounted for. In the meantime, IMPD has done with essential equipment (toilet paper), wages (IMPD has had their raises posted, twice) and no NEW officers for 3 years (2009-2011). And you wonder why violent crime is on the rise.

Anonymous said...

The brownies do not have law enforcement authority. The brownies are NOT POLICE.

Having jail guards providing private security for a Multi-Billionaire at taxpayer expense may just be the definition of GHOST EMPLOYMENT.

-Especially since guarding the jail and guarding a privately owned mall are not the same.

Douglas said...

MCSD are still have full law enforcement powers even when the merger took place....they are still marion county deputies...when you see deputies doing jobs like at the mall, they are there a lot of times, off duty and are contracted thru simon properties....the citizens are not forking out the money for these deputies to work... simon mall group is, not the county of marion nor the city of Indianapolis, so calm down people.