A federal judge in Indianapolis is suggesting that the county sheriff’s department could cure a guard shortage at its crowded jail by using deputies now patrolling the roads. The Indianapolis Star says U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker advised Sheriff Frank Anderson to have deputies “cross-trained.” Barker suggested that Indianapolis police and state troopers fill the void left by fewer deputies on the street.
Barker told Anderson she wants him and attorneys in the case to bring the idea before the newly Democrat-controlled City-County Council and the Criminal Justice Planning Council early next year, then report back at a hearing Feb. 6.
Anderson’s attorney, Kevin Murray, said public safety for law-abiding citizens is just as crucial as providing safety for jail inmates. Anderson already has shuffled office workers to get what he believes is an adequate number of deputies on the streets. He says he needs 250 more deputies to handle the expanding population in the area patrolled by his department.