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LET’S MAKE A DEAL

And they did.  Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and Marion County Sheriff Frank Anderson announced a deal this afternoon over the future of the Metropolitan Police Department.   Under the agreement, Ballard will get operational control of IMPD.  However, in exchange for the department, Ballard agrees to consult with Anderson on several matters, including the selection of the public safety director as well as the Chief of Police.  Ultimately, the Mayor would have the final say on those hires.

The two also agree to not engage the State Legislature in altering the statutory power of the Sheriff, in other words they won’t use lawmakers to make sure IMPD stays under the Mayor or goes back to the Sheriff.

Anderson said it was time to put politics aside and do what was best for the taxpayers of Marion County.  Ballard said the transfer of IMPD was not a coup d’etat, but the passing of the baton by teammates.

The two agreed to work together to deal with Marion’s County crime problem.

The Public Safety Committee is meeting tonight to vote on the proposal.  It is expected to pass since Republicans have a majority on the Council.  A number of activists were expected to protest the transfer of power.  This agreement just might make those protests a moot point.

Note: The Public Safety Committee voted 6-2 to approve the transfer.  All Republicans and Democrat Vernon Brown voted for it. A full vote is expected at the next Council meeting.

  • Terry

    I think Ballard sold out in not getting control of MECA also.

  • anon

    Terry,
    Where did you read or hear that the Sheriff was keeping control of MECA? Does this mean that the operators and dispatchers will get the raise that they were promised now, like the court line deptuties, jail officers and wagon drivers or is that raise now forgoten. Remember that the ones who answer the phone and talk on the radio make the least amount in the state. How does it make since to have their boss in charge of an organization they do not serve. Why should MCSD employees be responsilbe for IMPD employees? Shouldn’t they work for they same boss?

  • Unity of Command

    To establish Unity of Command as the Mayor has stated his goal, the mayor must also control two vital support functions of the police: 1) 911 Operations/Police Dispatching and 2) Jail Wagon/Prisoner Transport.

    Currently corruption/nepotism/and incompetence are running the 911 center and the police have no control over either the policies that are contrary to good police practice or discipline of insubordination by the dispatch center staff.

    Currently the jail wagons are causing tremendous inefficiencies and unnecessary overtime by incompetent management and failing to have proper staffing requirements.

    Unity of Command is necessary for the Mayor to achieve his goal and for an efficient police force.

  • RD

    Unity of Command is correct. Communications is vital to good operation of any public safety agency. The 9-1-1 Center should be under the Public Safety Director (both police and fire sides)or under the MECA Director, and not used as a dumping ground for political favors.

    The current 9-1-1 Center operates in the same manner as IPD Communications thirty years ago. It has merely gotten bigger but not necessarily more efficient. That entire operation needs to be re-engineered.

  • Proud Indy Resident

    As you can probably tell from my previous posts, I am a big Bart fan and a moderate Frank fan, but this is probably the right thing to do.

    But make no mistake- crime is not magically going to decrease because this Mayor (or any mayor for that matter) has control of the department.

    Control of the police department went from one politician to another.

  • Think Again

    Whether crime is affected or not, Proud Indy, this is what we get with elections. The Mayor won, he promsied this, and he has the council votes. Frnak was stupid to ever try to fight it–he lost a lot of credibility in the public eye.

    Frank threw in the towel yesterday, hours before a council committee was going to make him look real silly.

    And right about now, don’t Duke Oliver and all those pastors look equally stupid? Referendum? Puh-leeeze!

  • Really

    OK. I am missing something. I thought consolidation (in particular police consolidation) was supposed to streamline government and save us money. Doesn’t this look like de-consolidation? I mean, even state officials want consolidation (see barties Indyworks). Either give the “Unity of Command” all of it, the entire operation to the sheriff and then eliminate the public safety position and his assistants. Or, give the entire “Unity of Command” to the Mayor and eliminate the sheriff position and his assistants. But in the end, I need to ask, will the current mayor (and current public safety director), with NO law enforcement background of any kind, be a better leaders in the fight against crime. Was the last mayor and last public safety director that effective? Or was Goldsmith and Dr. Alan Handt that effective?

  • Really truly

    The mayor hires a police chief to run the police department. The same as a Director of Public Works to run the streets and sanitation department, fire chief to run the fire department. As mayor his is the one unified commander to bring all of the city departments working together to make this a great city.

  • East Sider

    The Sheriff gets to retain control of 911 communications because that is what the Unigov legislation says. If Ballard wants that changed then he will have to engage the assistance of the Indiana Legislature to do so.

    In other words, state law needs changed for Ballard to get MECA.

  • curious

    East Sider,

    If Mayor Ballard needs the state law changed to get control of the communications center, how did Goldsmith turn over IPD Communications to the sheriff in 1996? IPD had their own and County had their own. Then they were one.

    Mr. Mayor you told a friend of mine that you had to have communications under you. You were going to get it. Now you didn’t. Very disappointed in that.