Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is yet to name a public safety director to replace Frank Straub, who has been named police chief of Spokane, Wa., says Indianapolis Star columnist Matthew Tully. Tully says, “Nobody is serving as coordinator of the most critical issue in the city. If there’s one vacancy city government shouldn’t tolerate, it’s this one.”
Tully believes the best candidate is Ben Hunter, a former Indianapolis police officer who sits on the City-County Council and serves as chief of staff to Butler University’s president, a job that includes overseeing public safety on the campus. The columnist says Hunter, 39, was a top-notch police officer for 11 years, building productive relationships with neighborhood groups not just to react to but also to prevent crimes. Hunter’s skills in policing, vision, politics, community relations, make his selection a no-brainer in Tully’s view. Supposedly, he isn’t being considered because he hasn’t applied for the job.