INDIANAPOLIS — The Marion County Sheriff’s Office announced multiple staffing changes Thursday afternoon, including the appointment of a new commander for the section of the jail responsible for identifying inmates and arrestees.
Earlier this month, the MCSO accidentally released Kevin Mason, who was wanted for his alleged role in a fatal shooting in Minneapolis, and erroneously released Toriano Hellams eight days before that. Hellams was allowed to walk out of jail the same day he was sentenced to two years in prison due to an error involving the jail ID numbers he had been assigned.
The MCSO said Sheriff Kerry Forestal contacted KPMG, a firm that provides audit, tax and advisory services, to request an audit in an effort to address resources and funding needed to run the sheriff’s office. KPMG is located on Monument Circle in downtown Indy.
“It is the Sheriff’s opinion, which he has stated time and time again, that MCSO is understaffed and underpaid in relation to market pay,” MCSO sent FOX59/CBS4 in a statement. “The Sheriff reached out to KPMG to get a third-party, professional evaluation of the agency, and KPMG is the same company the City-County Council used for evaluation throughout MCSO in 2018.”
KPMG previously provided MCSO with recommendations on staff pay and “realignment of staff.”
The audit will be conducted in collaboration with City Controller Sarah Riordan. The city of Indianapolis will provide $50,000 in funds to help pay a significant portion of the fees associated with the audit while the sheriff’s budget will finance the remaining amount, MCSO said.
The changes are set to take place on Saturday, Sept. 30.
MCSO confirmed the following changes to its command staff:
- Deputy Chief Kelvis Williams was promoted to the role of executive officer to the sheriff of MCSO. Deputy Chief Williams previously served in the State Police for 25 years.
- Maj. Michael Turner was promoted to jail commander of the Adult Detention Center.
- Lieutenant Tom Koppel was promoted to captain and is now the commander of the IDENT section, which oversees the proper identification of inmates.
- Maj. Angela Spayd transferred to Homeland Security as the assistant division commander.
- Maj. Deidra Baker was transferred from the Adult Detention Center to the Judicial Enforcement Division as assistant commander of the civil section.
- Captain Laurie Layton, commander of the Sex Offender Registry, was promoted to a major and transferred to the Adult Detention Center.
The MCSO also addressed the premature release of Hellam by stating the case would be turned over to the Marion County Identity Group. FOX59/CBS4 learned while investigating the release of Hellams that individuals are assigned a “gallery number” when they are booked into jail.
“This is a multi-agency issue, and it will take a working group of every Community Justice partner to identify and dissect if and where an error occurred in any of our individual systems,” MCSO said. “This system is the check-and-balances of all identity-related discrepancies, such as the release of Mr. Hellams. A total examination of the continuation of the gallery number system will also be considered by the group.”