No changes to sheriff budget yet, despite changes to inmate transportation

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – No changes will be made to Sheriff John Layton’s budget yet, despite calls from some city officials to do so.

The sheriff announced a month ago that his deputies would no longer transport arrestees to the jail because of funding issues, starting in September.

After negotiations with city officials and the police department, he agreed to continue taking inmates to the jail until January 1, 2018.

Because he won’t be doing a function his department has always budgeted for, some city councilors and even the mayor have suggested that part of his budget should shift to IMPD.

But at Wednesday night’s IMPD and IFD budget hearing, city controller Fady Qaddoura pumped the brakes on that plan.

“When there are discussions about budgets moving from one agency to the next, instead of choosing a number today, a haphazard number and say, ‘Let’s move 3 million dollars from this agency to this agency,’ that’s not a thoughtful way for doing business,” said Qaddoura.

Councillor Kreider passionately disagreed.

“It’s not like it’s a new thing,” said Kreider. “And to the extent that the budget was prepared, there are numbers from the past on that to at least look at.”

Qaddoura says they plan to closely analyze the sheriff department’s transport costs to figure out the financial impact of IMPD taking arrestees. The city will then come back to the council early next year with their recommendations for possible budget changes.

Qaddoura says this also gives Chief Bryan Roach time to iron out possible options for limiting the resource strain on his current officers, and the 84 the department is set to hire next year.

If we make a decision that functions are moving from one agency to the other, we will be very cautious of the fact that we will not be shifting resources away from sworn officers from doing their work on the street, to doing transportation and Chief Roach has ideas for how to achieve that,” said Qaddoura.