Indianapolis Police Chief Jerry Barker is resigning today, the Indianapolis Star reports. Assistant Chief Michael Spears will replace him. Barker, 58, will become a special assistant to the city’s director of public safety, Robert Turner. The announcement comes one day after Mayor Bart Peterson warned that the city may be forced to cut millions from its budget — including from the Police Department — if his government consolidation plan, known as Indianapolis Works, does not pass the General Assembly.
Barker was appointed in early 2000 to run the police department, the state’s largest law enforcement agency. He is paid about $80,000 a year. During his tenure, Barker won accolades for supporting the concept of community policing by the 1,200 uniformed officers on his force. Barker had been an advocate of the mayor’s proposed merger between his department and the Marion County Sheriff’s Department — a merger that would put the sheriff in charge of the newly merged force.