Indianapolis Mayor Taps Texas Official to Replace Straub In Safety Job


Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard signaled that he wants to continue the police reforms he started in his first term by selecting another outsider to head his Public Safety Department, law-enforcement experts and community leaders tell the Indianapolis Star. There is no guarantee that it will be any easier for Troy Riggs, 46, an assistant city manager in Corpus Christi, Tx., than it was for Frank Straub, his controversial predecessor. Riggs will assume control of a short-staffed and demoralized police force that some police observers say was ignored and denigrated by Straub and, by extension, the mayor.

The public safety director oversees four large departments: Fire, Police, Homeland Security, and Animal Care and Control. The police officers union accused Straub of micromanaging the Police Department and neglecting to consult with it on policy changes. Former Public Safety Director Scott Newman said the selection suggests that Ballard has more faith that an outsider can bring the change he wants than an insider. “He appears to remain committed to a vision that the [police department] is in need of serious change that can best be brought from someone from the outside,” Newman said. An outsider would be more effective because “either we haven't cultivated the leadership here or the people here lack the resolve to get it done.”

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