The first thing on the list of recommendations is, "Transition current DPS leadership," that is, the replacement of embattled Public Safety Director Frank Straub.
In the last month, Straub said he has managed to cut his projected $15 million public safety budget deficit in half, replace the chief of police and articulate his battle against what he called "30-40-50 years of corruption," within the city police department.
"Clearly there is this pattern of policies and procedures that nobody paid any attention to, not out of any malice because there are people coming to work everyday to keep the public safe," Straub told the city county council's public safety committee last week.
The FOP "Ten Step Stabilization Plan" includes the following changes:
- Transition current DPS leadership
- Flatten the Administrative Layers within DPS
- Launch the EPIC Community Policing Model Citywide
- Amend current Police Work Schedules to Maximize Staffing Levels
- Amend Pubic Safety Vehicle Use to Maximize Staffing Levels
- Combine ALL Public Safety Training, Fleet Services and Fleet Purchasing
- Transfer Parks, Monon, Canal and Waterways to the (Marion County Sheriffs Department). Transfer all Public Safety Communications to the IMPD
- Launch the Indianapolis Professional Police Foundation
- Enact a Public Safety User Fee for Sporting Events, Conventions and Lodging
- Reinstitute a Grants Division within the Department of Public Safety
Mark Lotter, spokesman for Mayor Greg Ballard, said some of the ideas are already being discussed between Straub and Sheriff John Layton. He also said the other options would be impractical if not illegal. He said the FOP has created a response to a crisis it created which is, ironically, the same language the officers' group uses to describe Straub's style of leadership.
The FOP said it has shared its ideas with members of the City-County Council and Sheriff Layton.
Owensby said he expects a blockbuster-type announcement from Straub in the near future possibly regarding the director's claim of corruption within the department. He said he believes it will be an attempt to draw attention away from recent events such as the resignation of Police Chief Paul Ciesielski over the alleged mishandling of a vial of blood in the David Bisard case and the announcement that acting police chief Rick Hite is not currently certified to be a police officer in Indiana.