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.