Director of Public Safety says decision to step down was difficult

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 24, 2015) -- Director of Public Safety Troy Riggs said it was "bittersweet" to step down from his position after nearly three years.

Riggs will leave at the end of July to take a job with the IU Public Policy Institute, as the Public Safety Outreach Director on the IUPUI campus.

"I want to be clear, I’m taking this opportunity because I think it’s a good career move. It’s great for my family," Riggs said.

Sources tell FOX59 that leaders in the community had tried to convince Riggs to stay, even facilitating conversations with mayoral candidate Joe Hogsett, who was open to the idea of keeping Riggs in place if he were to be elected.

Ultimately, though, Riggs said the election was not what influenced him to leave, saying instead that he wanted to spend more time with his family and saw opportunity in the new job to work with cities across the country.

Riggs spoke to the media at a mobile food pantry setup at Barnes United Methodist Church, an initiative he helped start in high-crime areas. It's also the place where he interviewed with Rev. Charles Harrison back in 2012.

"I was hearing rumors that this possibly might happen but I was hoping he would not (leave)," Harrison said.

Riggs took over the department at a time of high scandal and low morale. He is credited with adding officers to the streets, improving efficiency within the department and implementing a data-drive approach that includes targeted zip codes with high crime.

"When I arrived here it is no secret that morale was down, that the community had lost some trust in Department of Public Safety. I think that trust has been restored," Riggs said.

There's no word on who will replace Riggs in the interim, as Indianapolis prepares for the November mayoral election. Mayor Ballard's office released the following statement:

"We appreciate Director Riggs' service to the city of Indianapolis and we are glad to see that in his career move, citizens in Indy will continue to benefit from his expertise.

The administration will coordinate with Troy during this transition to determine who will lead the Department of Public Safety moving forward."

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