“For the past several months when meeting with neighborhood associations, faith groups and other organizations, I have become a broken record with two messages: our public safety agencies are woefully underfunded and, as a community, we must undertake a substantive discussion about how we address this crisis,” wrote Curry.
Curry said IMPD officers are spread too thin. He cited a recent incident when Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson was sent to a crime scene because there were no homicide detectives available.
The department is short by an estimated 685 officers. Nearly half of the force is also eligible for retirement.Some are questioning Curry's claim that his chief deputy prosecutor had to go to a crime scene recently because no homicide detectives were available. Prosecutors are kept away from crime scene investigations in order to avoid becoming witnesses in a case. Others question why his staff devoted an inordinate amount of resources to the Bei Bei Shui case. Shui is the 36-year old pregnant woman who Curry charged with murder after she attempted to commit suicide by ingesting rat poison, which resulted in the death of her fetus. After wasting more than a year on the highly-publicized and controversial case, Curry's office wound up reaching a plea agreement with Shui just as the case went to trial. The Chinese immigrant pleaded guilty to criminal recklessness, a misdemeanor charge, and was sentenced to the 178 days she had already served.
The Ballard administration has insisted that crime numbers, except for homicides, have been down across the board despite lower staffing levels. Public Safety Director Troy Riggs says funding isn't the problem.
“If we don’t have an honest dialogue about this, in four or five years, it could be a crisis,” said Troy Riggs, Indianapolis Public Safety Director. “[But] what can we afford? That’s the tough part.”
With 85 percent of the city’s budget already going to public safety, Riggs said hiring hundreds of police officers would cost an additional $84 million . . .Riggs claims that 100 police officers have been put back on the streets as a result of reassignment of duties, and that the department has plans to add an additional 100 police officer by the end of 2016. Nowhere in any of the stories in the local news media is there any discussion about how the mayor and City-County Council deliberately chose to spend a substantial part of the hundreds of millions of dollars raised from the 2007, 65% increase in the local income tax earmarked for public safety on other priorities supported by the downtown mafia.