Indianapolis, IN - As Indianapolis Public Safety Director Frank Straub faces a challenge from the City-County Council, the Fraternal Order of Police has expressed serious questions about him.
In a seven-paragraph letter the FOP said crime in the city is up, morale is low and there are fewer officers on the streets. The letter came a day after an hours-long meeting in which council members questioned Straub and heard from several other people. The council is considering a no-confidence vote on Straub, but his fate ultimately rests in the hands of Mayor Greg Ballard, who appointed him.
"They said, 'We don't want an outsider,'" Straub said of the police union during Wednesday night's meeting. "'We don't want someone from outside our city running Public Safety.'"
In the midst of the frustration, though, Straub said he has found away to eliminate his department's $15 million deficit. Delaying the purchase of new patrol vehicles will eliminate half of the problem, he said.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has a fleet of 1,851 vehicles; 367 of those trucks and cars have racked up about 100,000 to 150,000 miles. And 51 others have 150,000 to 200,000 miles.
"Once you are past 100,000 miles, you start looking at transitioning to another vehicle," said FOP Vice President Rick Snyder.
But IMPD Chief Paul Ciesielski said delaying patrol car purchases will not affect the department's level of service to the city's residents.
In 2010, the department purchased 700 new vehicles. Currently there is nothing in writing stating how many vehicles the Public Safety Department must purchase a year. The union believes Straub will reallocate money so the department will be able to purchase some new vehicles.
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