Only a year after his appointment was announced, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Troy Riggs will resign this month to “pursue other opportunities,” said Mayor Joseph Hogsett, the Indianapolis Star reports. The resignation was a surprise, coming just days after Hogsett outlined a proposal for massive criminal justice reform, including a new jail and a more progressive approach for treating suspected criminals with issues of mental health and substance abuse. The proposed reform seemed to align with Riggs’ vision. The chief has sought to address the root problems of crime, betting that such solutions would turn back the tide of escalating violence in Indianapolis while improving the quality of life.
Perhaps Riggs’ most ambitious plans were first unveiled in 2014, when he worked as public safety director in the Mayor Greg Ballard administration. Riggs and Ballard poured more resources into six focus areas that produced a disproportionate amount of violent crime. This year, Riggs introduced smaller coverage areas for officers in some parts of the city, including the focus areas. The goal was to enhance the community’s trust with their officers while combatting violence. By placing a larger emphasis on warrant sweeps, the police department beefed up efforts to address drug and guns crime, reversing what Riggs called a community of drug dealers who had grown more powerful and emboldened. The city’s violence problem, which is most visibly shown in the number of killings, hasn’t receded. There have been 144 criminal homicides for the year, tied with last year’s count.