INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A big change is made in the leadership at Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. Mayor Joe Hogsett announced the hiring of new police chief Bryan Roach.
Roach is a familiar face from within the department having most recently served as the assistant chief of administration.
Following back to back years of record murder numbers, Roach knows he faces a huge challenge to improve public safety, but it’s a job Roach felt the need to tackle even though he didn’t actively seek the chief’s job.
“I appreciate all those who said that I should be chief. I think there was a campaign for me, but I didn’t direct it. I feel a duty to the city and men and women of the police department,” said Roach.
Chief Troy Riggs announced in December that he was stepping down from the position. Before serving as police chief, Riggs also served as public safety director. In his absence, Deputy Chief Valerie Cunningham has served as interim police chief.
During his time as chief, Troy Riggs helped re-introduce community policing with officers walking specific beats and focused on improving data to assist law enforcement. Both will remain priorities going forward.
“Chief Riggs talked a lot about beat policing and data driven policing. I’m a firm believer in that,” said Roach.
Still, as a 26 year police veteran, Roach says he’ll also implement a compassionate approach to law enforcement when it comes to dealing with people with mental health needs.
“It’s always been a concern of mine that people that don’t belong in the criminal justice system don’t wind up in the system because they can’t get the care that’s needed,” said Roach.
Mayor Hogsett praised Roach for backing a cutting-edge plan to train and equip patrol officers with naloxone to combat the state’s heroin epidemic.
“Thanks to Bryan more than 200 members of our community will live to see another day,” said Hogsett.
From the moment chief Riggs resigned, many city leaders hoped the successor would be found within the department and some city-county councilmembers are pleased with the result.
“We didn’t want someone from outside and a long national search to take place with someone who may or may not fit,” said city-county councilman LeRoy Robinson.
“I would challenge everyone not to think of this announcement as just a change in leadership. It is also another moment in the years of mending our community,” said Hogsett.
Roach has held every appointed rank in IMPD, according to Hogsett. He's an Indianapolis native and graduate of IUPUI.
"Those who have had the chance to work with him, have the utmost respect for his judgment and leadership," Hogsett said.
The mayor said he "could not be more proud" to introduce Roach as IMPD's chief.
Roach says he's promised the mayor "three years if he'll have me."
Roach will be officially sworn in as chief in a couple of weeks, but he has taken over his duties as chief effective immediately.
Rick Snyder, president of the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police, applauded Roach's selection:
“This is a significant step forward for the IMPD. Bryan Roach is the right person at the right time for this agency and our City. We could not be more pleased by the Mayor’s decision.
Bryan Roach is a person of character, integrity and is the consummate professional in all his dealings. He enters the role of Chief as an officer who has worked his way up through the ranks and has the unique background and understanding in all of the functions of a major metropolitan police department.
Our new Chief has had significant involvement and leadership roles in the many improvements, policies and proactive community policing efforts of the IMPD. This selection will allow the IMPD to rise to the next level while providing continuity in the service provided to our City’s residents and visitors.
Most importantly, Bryan Roach, has a demonstrated work ethic to serve and not be served. His example will benefit our city well and it is our belief it will translate in the ongoing dedication and professionalism of our officers. We look forward to working with Chief Roach to move our police department and our city forward.”
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry issued this statement:
“Congratulations to IMPD Chief Bryan Roach on his appointment as the Department’s new leader. I am confident that his many years of experience both on the street and in administrative duties will serve him well as Chief. On behalf of the nearly four hundred women and men in the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, we look forward to a continued partnership with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Chief Roach in his new role.”