For the past few weeks Marion County Sheriff Frank Anderson and Mayor Greg Ballard have been in “talks” over who should control the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. A hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday on an ordinance that transfers control. The Mayor and Sheriff have maintained a very civil public front, even going so far as to issue a joint memo to the department letting officers know they are united in making sure citizen safety is a priority. It has been a different story behind the scenes.
Anderson and his attorney, Kevin Murray, have been playing the race card in conversations with the Mayor’s Office and some City-County Councilors in an effort to hold on to the department. According to my sources, both Anderson and Murray have gone so far as to even drop the “n-word” on several occasions in their attempt to accuse the Mayor and the Marion County Republicans of wanting to take power away from the “Black Sheriff.” I find this laughable because they both seem to have forgotten that the Black Sheriff has endorsed the very white Kerry Forestal, his chief deputy, to take his place as Sheriff when his term expires in 2010. By the way, that support of Forestal has also cost Anderson some crucial support of a significant number of Black clergy in Indianapolis.
If I were the Mayor, I would not trust Anderson and his cronies half as far as I could throw them. In part because every time he meets with Anderson’s attorney, the taxpayers get a bill. But if Greg Ballard were going to work with the Sheriff and Murray on a peaceful and orderly transition of power, I would deny any request they would have to stand behind me, because I’d rather have them in front of me where I could keep an eye on them.