IMPD to unveil new system for patrolling Indianapolis neighborhoods

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 23, 2016) — The effort to evolve community policing in Indianapolis, and to undo questionable measures put in place during the Ballard administration, takes a step forward this afternoon as IMPD Chief Troy Riggs will unveil a beat structure system for the patrolling of city neighborhoods.

During a morning briefing hosted by Mayor Joe Hogsett, Riggs explained that under a discredited zone patrol system introduced by then-Public Safety Director Dr. Frank Straub, based on the advice of national consultants, some IMPD officers are responsible for an 11-square-mile area.

Riggs said such a large geographical assignment is an ineffective way to patrol a neighborhood under a community policing model. Wednesday afternoon Riggs will announce that IMPD will return to a more localized beat system of one-square-mile locations throughout many parts of the city.

Riggs said that while the beat system will not be comprehensive across Indianapolis, it will be spread through focus areas and other communities. Officers assigned to those newly designated beats will receive additional training and be encouraged to park their patrol cars and walk through neighborhoods to meet residents.

The chief will also announce one-, two- and three-year plans for IMPD and its approach to community policing.

IMPD’s beat system comes at a time when the Hogsett administration is revamping city government and its delivery of public safety services to residents.

On March 29 the Rules & Public Policy Committee of the City-County Council is expected to vote on reorganization of the Department of Public Safety which includes direct reporting of the police and fire chiefs to the mayor’s office, creating an Office of Public Health and Safety to better integrate quality of life issues into protection of the community and placement of the Citizens Police Complaint Board under the authority of the mayor to eliminate conflicts of interest in investigating citizen complaints.

Hogsett’s staff estimates more than $500,000 will be saved annually and returned to the general fund in the elimination of DPS and its reorganization as a division of city government.

IFD Chief Ernie Malone reported that three times this year his firehouses have been utilized as safe havens for children who were dropped off by parents overwhelmed with the responsibility of child care.

On April 30 IFD in conjunction with DEA will open its doors for residents who wish to dispose of prescription drugs that are no longer needed or have reached their expiration dates.

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