Another high-profile homicide in Indianapolis occurred a few hours after a City-County Council panel voted to move toward the most extensive reshaping of police service in Indianapolis history, says Indianapolis Star columnist Matthew Tully. The case underscored one of the biggest challenges for Mayor Bart Peterson and other supporters of merging the Indianapolis Police Department and the Marion County Sheriff’s Department. They must prove public safety will be improved — or won’t suffer — under the proposed merger, Tully says.
People in the city’s central core are concerned because the merger will allow more officers to be assigned to the county’s outer ring — the “suburbs” — where the sheriff has provided law enforcement. “I’m not saying that I can assure people their police service won’t change,” Peterson said. “But I can assure people in the old city limits that their service will not suffer.” Tully says, “There is reason to worry,” nothing that the city’s police department dropped 78 jobs because of budget cuts as crime rates rose in some categories.