During his inaugural speech, new Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard called for moving the police department back under the control of the mayor’s office, reports the Indianapolis Star. Ballard was an unknown candidate six months ago who ousted two-term Democratic Mayor Bart Peterson to win his first elected office. Ballard has found his lack of political experience an advantage so far. But many in attendance today said that now he must begin to deliver on his promises.
Ballard pledged that fighting crime would be his administration's top priority. The Republican will work to take control of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department from Marion County Sheriff Frank Anderson. “All public safety agencies must be under the mayor's chain of command,” the retired Marine lieutenant colonel said. Laura Chatain, a small-business owner, hopes Ballard can reverse the flight of high-income residents from the heart of Indianapolis in a pattern that hurt other cities, such as Detroit. “It's property taxes, crime and schools,” Chatain said. “Today there's a real sense of hope that we can make these bones of the city stronger, instead of all the flashy stuff.”