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Updated: Monday, 05 Dec 2011, 1:49 PM EST
Published : Monday, 05 Dec 2011, 10:38 AM EST
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - An independent review into an issue with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department found a “clear schism” within the department.
IMPD hired Altegrity Security Consulting to investigate whether an IMPD lieutenant made racially insensitive remarks about Deputy Chief William Benjamin.
Although Altegrity found the allegation of comments unfounded, the consulting firm uncovered problems with the way IMPD handled internal investigations.
"I'm glad we did the report," Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said. "We found nothing to the allegations. We need to tighten up some internal procedures."
While IMPD has good policies in place, the report says they’re not being followed. The policy for following chain of command contradicts what is generally accepted as the proper way to handle incidents, according to the report.
“Our investigations revealed that if previous relationships have been established, they often trump organizational chain-of-command by creating an informal ‘chain’ that supersedes levels of command, or entire commands all together,” the report said.
Ballard said he was glad the group pointed to areas where IMPD could improve.
"That's what we have been trying to do, reform the police department for a long time now," Ballard said. "And this is just one piece of it."
Altegrity also found that there was a divide between the “old guard” of officers who follow older police department management models and others who value the need for IMPD to be a professional agency of integrity.
The consulting firm’s investigation revealed that instead of beginning a report number right away on a reported misconduct, upper-level IMPD members have an informal meeting first to determine whether to investigate the misconduct.
The creators of the report said lower-ranking officers often referred to upper-level IMPD personnel by first name, instead of using their rank and last name. The report called it “striking” and “unusual,” calling it an example of a cultural lack of importance given to higher ranks and following the chain of command.
As someone who served in the Marine Corps, Ballard said he's a big fan of following the chain of command.
"(It's) certainly something to look at," Ballard said. "The chain of command is something to be followed."