The City-County Council in Indianapolis has merging police agencies, reports the Indianapolis Star. The plan to combine city and county police forces had failed last month on a 15-14 vote. Michael Phillips, an Indianapolis patrolman for nearly five years, is concerned about staffing levels in a merged department. “My backup is going to have to come from a lot longer away.” Vince Huber, president of the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police, said the council has yet to show how consolidation will ensure the safety of citizens.
Mayor Bart Peterson, who first proposed consolidation in 2004, said the merger would take Indianapolis to the next level as a city. He said the victory would give his plan to consolidate fire departments some momentum heading into the state legislative session next year. “We can’t continue to have a first-class Indianapolis Police Department and a first-class Marion County Sheriff’s Department,” Peterson said. “The public isn’t willing to pay for both.”