Saturday, July 21, 2012

IMPD Staffing Levels Lower Than Before 2007 Public Safety Tax Increase

People tend to forget that the major impetus for former Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson's $90 million a year, 65% increase in the county option income tax in 2007 was to fund public safety. The public was told the funding would allow the newly-created IMPD agency, which resulted from the merger of IPD and the Marion County Sheriff's Department, to hire at least 100 additional new police officers. The truth was that IMPD never hired the additional police officers with the revenues from the tax increase. IMPD later obtained a $3 million COPS grant from the federal government to hire 50 new police officers, but it never used the federal money for hiring the additional police officers. The Justice Department has been threatening to require the city to repay the grant money because its staffing levels actually fell after getting the money. IMPD's staffing level has fallen below 1600, which is the lowest level it has been since the merger took effect in 2007. WRTV has a story about the concern for the lower staffing numbers for IMPD and the potential threat of having to repay the federal grant money because the city reneged on its pledge to use the money for more police officers:
"The problem becomes, how long will that agreement be in effect if the numbers continue to fall without our looking to hire some sort of recruit class?" said Mary Moriarity-Adams, who chairs the City-County Council's Public Safety Committee. "Being below a key number also could cause us not to be allowed to have future funding because we've not been able to maintain what we had promised to begin with."
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has hired only 17 police officers over the past three years. During that same period, the department has lost more than 100 officers to retirements, terminations, deaths and disabilities.
"We have fewer officers on the street at a time when crime is going up and attacks on officers are increasing," said Lt. Rick Snyder, vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police. "It's only by keeping our officers safe that we're able to keep our citizens safe."
2013 looks even bleaker when it comes to hiring additional officers. The city faces a $41 million revenue shortfall. Eighty-five percent of the city budget funds some element of public safety and criminal justice.
To compensate for the shortage, the police department did away with smaller policing beats in favor of larger zones. The department concentrated larger numbers of officers in these high-crime zones.
"I don't know how effective the zone policing is going to be," said Moriarity-Adams. "But the fact of the matter is, other areas of the city aren't adequately covered, where people are paying taxes to see officers on their streets and in their neighborhoods."
When Ballard first ran for mayor in 2007, he claimed public safety was job one. Instead, his major priority has been focused on more corporate welfare for his campaign contributors and making sure the CIB is flush with money to hand out to the billionaire sports team owners. IMPD not only has fewer police officers on the street, it doesn't have enough money to pay for the basic supplies police officers need to perform their jobs. They even have to buy their own toilet paper for the bathrooms at the district offices because the Department claims it doesn't have the money to spare.


CircleCityScribe said...

The Consolidation ordinance required an audit...bring it on!

We need to know where the money went! Fewer police, yet no basic supplies like bullets, taser batteries, toilet paper, electric almost shut off at a police station for non-payment. We see Straub built a palace for himself at a cost more than most homes in our city...with a personal shower! (Why?)

We see Straub hired East Coast cronies on his personal staff and paid more East Coast cronies for "consulting." Lets have an accounting of their salaries along with an explaination why they were never previously needed! Was this a fiefdom?

As a taxpayer, I want an audit. I want accountability from the Mayor!

Furthermore, I want police in my neighborhood. Here's what Straub did: He made beats (area for our policeman to patrol) into zones (too big for a policeman to patrol). Now some zones get 2 or 3 policemen to cover what 4 used to cover!!!! Response time is longer and I never see my neighborhood policeman anymore. I was told they are now ping-pong balls, going from one place to another far away. There is no longer quick emergency response to life-and-death situations like there used to be.

Please account to us why there was no planning for attrition in police? That job takes a long time to screen properly and train properly. There should always be trainees in the academy just to account for attrition. Why haven't they been hiring in proper numbers?

I know said...

The simple item lost in all of this is "TRUST".

The audit will uncover the past poor management and too much time will be spent on excuses, finger pointing and accusations.

Some people need to get a set of big boy or big girl panties and become leaders.

The public safety profession in Indiana and I mean "in" Indiana are hard working people who put their lives on the line everyday.

The taxpayer wants to see them everyday.

What is the problem here? Get some guts, stand up and lead, tell the politicians to get out of the way and get policeman out of the cars and back on the beat.

Only when a huge events occurs or a civil disruption happens do the leaders put public safety people out on the street. They prevent problems or quell some and then pat each other on the back!

The next day the same ole thing. We have no money!

The USA and Indiana are sorry sites when it comes to Europe and public safety. You see public safety out in the public and on foot in every country.

Someone challenge the leadership in Indiana to quit blowing out both sides of their mouth and some people step up and lead!

Trust starts with one on one and grows from there.