$50,000 city report to improve IMPD image unveiled


When Public Safety Director Troy Riggs arrived in Indianapolis in late October he had no idea of the fiscal swamp of red ink left behind by his predecessor.

“I knew it was going to be difficult here. I was not aware of the level or the difficulty but we’ll get through it.”

Riggs knew that previous Public Safety Director Frank Straub presided over a projected $32 million public safety budget deficit last summer.

What he didn’t know was the amount of money Straub spent on consultants and outside contracts to address problems in the Metropolitan Police Department and proposed solutions and how IMPD was spending its money.

“The thing that is really most troubling to me is that within the Department of Public Safety there’s no administrative review. The chiefs aren’t called in and asked about their budgets. They’re not asked about spending. They’re not asked about overtime usage. They’re not asked about personnel allocation. That needs to be done on a regular basis.”

And it will be in the future as Riggs names efficiency teams to begin examining DPS and its departments after January 1st.

Riggs cut $365,000 from his own office budget his first month in Indianapolis even as he discovered how much money was spent and unaccounted for under Dr. Straub.

As documented by Fox 59 News, Straub spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on outside consultants to examine and revamp IMPD’s operations.

$80,000 went to a review of the Professional Standards Unit by the man who wrote Straub a reference letter in 2009, former NYPD Chief William Bratton.

$300,000 was paid to the International City/County Management Association to study IMPD’s patrol beats and recommend a zone patrol system.

An estimated $150,000 was spent on Boston-based leadership training.

And $50,000 was paid to Indianapolis-based Emmis Community Outreach last year to conduct focus groups on IMPD’s external and internal perception and to develop an image makeover plan.

The contract, signed by Straub in May of 2011, played upon, “Sense of urgency, seize the moment, capitalize on the positive public support of police in the wake of David Moore’s death to celebrate service and the good men and women serving our community.”

Those comments were included in an appendix of the contract negotiated by Straub and ECO and obtained by Fox 59 News last January.

Since that time, Straub successfully blocked Fox 59 News Open Records Act requests for a copy of the final report, citing Indiana code.

When Riggs became public safety director this fall he was advised of the Emmis report and started his own inquiry.

“That was eye-opening to read,” said Riggs. “I had not been given this report until I’d been here a couple weeks and I know you had been asking for it and we made it available to you once I found out.”

The report is a damning indictment of the attitude within IMPD and the city regarding its police department during the tenure of Frank Straub.

“They are like Caesar’s army,” the report quotes one community leader.

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