I haven't heard the news reports yet, but according to the below press release from Councilor Jose Evans, Mayor Greg Ballard announced today that he was ending the car take home policy for IMPD.
I can understand reforming the policy...for example, they should not be able to take the cars out of the county and prohibiting officers from operating the car after having consumed alcoholic beverages...but to end it? That seems pretty extreme. I would think there is a substantial deterrent effect to people seeing those law enforcement vehicles in Indianapolis neighborhoods.
Here is the press release:
For Immediate Release
Monday, August 23, 2010
Jorita Rwizi: (317) 698-8890
The recent shooting on the west side of Indianapolis where two residents, were killed and six others injured, demonstrate the vital importance of a police presence in our communities.
That’s why I am very concerned to learn that Mayor Greg Ballard today announced a new policy that will prohibit officers of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department from taking their vehicles home.
While I can appreciate the need to cut back on expenditures, the safety of our communities is not an area where a mayor should cut corners. The presence of police cars in neighborhoods where real people live, acts as a deterrent on the commission of crime. As crime in Indianapolis continues to soar, it is essential that we preserve this weapon against crime in our communities.
Last month, the Mayor announced he supported giving the Pacers $33.5 million dollars over three years. Now this month, the Mayor has taken the position that the safety of our communities as well as the loyal men and women who serve the public as law enforcement officers, do not deserve the same support.
Being mayor is about setting priorities. Mayor Ballard’s priorities appear to be about giving sweetheart deals and tax breaks to downtown businesses. As a candidate for Mayor, I would make keeping our communities safe and supporting our police officers a priority.
At the next Council meeting, I intend to introduce a resolution asking the Mayor to reconsider his decision to end take home cars for IMPD officers. I would respectfully ask my colleagues on the Council, both Democrats and Republicans, to support my resolution.