It’s not clear whether Indianapolis can maintain its community policing initiative under Mayor Bart Peterson’s plan to combine the Marion County Sheriff’s Department with the Indianapolis police force, says the Indianapolis Star. Peterson says that his plan can save nearly $9 million by making policing more efficient.
Some, including the head of the city’s police union, are skeptical. A study of police runs shows an average Indianapolis officer responds to about 160 calls per year, compared with about 250 for an average sheriff’s deputy. “Community policing almost in every place has been a success, at least in terms of building bridges with the community,” said Arvind Verma, a criminal justice professor at Indiana University. The concept has become a part of everyday police work in many cities. Because community policing has become institutionalized, Verma said, he doesn’t suspect it will disappear in Indianapolis.