INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 24, 2015)— Indianapolis Public Safety Director Troy Riggs is stepping down to lead public safety efforts at the Indiana University Public Policy Institute and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
Riggs first confirmed the news to the IndyStar, stating he would likely stay as director through July, as Mayor Greg Ballard searched for his replacement.
"We appreciate Director Riggs’ service to the City of Indianapolis and we are glad to see that in his next career move, citizens in Indy will continue to benefit from his expertise," said the Mayor's office in a statement. "The administration will coordinate with Troy during this transition to determine who will lead the Department of Public Safety moving forward.”
In this newly created role, Riggs will lead and facilitate public safety projects at the institute. According to the university, Riggs will also teach students as a clinical assistant professor with the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA). Both positions are located on the IUPUI campus in Indianapolis.
“I have appreciated Troy’s partnership in using and acknowledging SAVI database,” said IUPUI Chancellor Charles Bantz. “We are pleased to bring to IUPUI, SPEA, and the Public Policy Institute a public safety leader who takes a data-based approach to public safety and who has worked closely with IUPUI’s nationally-recognized SAVI database. Our students and community will benefit from Troy Riggs’ teaching and research.”
Riggs, a Louisville, Ky. native, previously served with the Corpus Christi Police Department, the Louisville Metro Police Department and the Jefferson County Police Department. He has served as Indianapolis’ public safety director since 2012.
“Troy Riggs has impacted how public safety is thought of in Marion County,” said Mark Lawrance, director of IU Public Policy Institute. “His innovative data-driven community-based approach has resulted in better training and unique collaborations among community partners to improve the safety of our neighborhoods. We look forward to leveraging his expertise and passion to address public safety in Indiana at the IU Public Policy Institute.”
Chief Rick Hite made this statement to Fox59: "I want to thank the director for his leadership, his outstanding service to the community and IMPD, and we wish him well in his new pursuits." Hite was with IMPD during their transition with the last public safety director. He says the department is taking this news under advisement, and IMPD plans to continue with its mission.
Riggs sent out this email to Indianapolis city leaders:
It is with much gratitude I write this special newsletter article to you.
Since my arrival in 2012, I have been welcomed and supported by the members of the Department of Public Safety. Your willingness to challenge the status quo, find solutions to systemic issues, and improve the delivery of services to the residents of Indianapolis is second to none. It is for these very reasons that DPS is leading the nation in innovation and finding solutions to issues that harm not only our city, but major cities across this nation. Due to your hard work, we have saved taxpayers millions of dollars, invested in our future, fed the hungry, helped the hurting, and protected the most vulnerable.
When I first met Mayor Ballard, I promised him that I would work to develop good business practices and to introduce data led government to Indianapolis. Thanks to you, both have been accomplished. There is certainly work to be done, but the foundation is strong and stands ready for a promising future.
As a result of our accomplishments, I have been invited to our nation's capital to share the story of Indianapolis with Congress and the President's staff. In these meetings, I consistently talk about the dedicated 3,200 employees of DPS, the cooperation of the various unions, and the tremendous citizens that help make Indianapolis a unique place to live.
For almost three years, it has been my distinct honor and pleasure to serve this city as its Public Safety Director. Thank you for all the support and encouragement I have received.
Earlier today, I advised the Mayor that I would be stepping down as the Director of Public Safety at the end of July. It was a very difficult decision, but one that is in the best interest of my family. It is certainly my intention to remain in our great city and continue to support you in your most important work.
Once again, thank you for your outstanding service to Indianapolis. You will remain in my prayers for your safety.
May God Bless you, your family, and our great nation.
Riggs will officially assume his new roles in August.
Now the attention turns to who will replace Riggs.
Still, it's a complicated question, with just six months before Mayor Ballard leaves office.
The new mayor will undoubtedly want to put their own team in place upon taking office in January - but Riggs says that's not why he left.
“I know both candidates and I have had conversations with both candidates,” said Riggs. “No one has ever told me I would be terminated or that I would be removed.”
“We’re in that time of the season where we would expect to start seeing different administrators start to transition out,” said FOP president Rick Snyder, who praised Riggs for his outreach to officers.
"I can’t say for sure what we’re going to see, but it's possible there could be somebody who only is in this position for short amount of time before a new mayor comes in in January," said IndyStar criminal justice reporter Jill Disis.
Mayoral candidate and former federal prosecutor Joe Hogsett released this statement in response to Riggs announcement:
“Today I join so many others across our city in thanking Troy Riggs for his public service over the last three years. He will leave behind a legacy of an innovative, data-driven approach to law enforcement that will serve our city well. I am excited to see how Troy will continue to serve our community, and others across the state and country, in the years to come.”
But Hogsett also announced some public safety plans of his own on Wednesday, calling for 150 new police officers. His opponent in November’s election was quick to respond.
“Question is, how’s he’s going to pay for it and what are the details around it,” said Republican candidate Chuck Brewer, who’s calling for a series of nine debates with Hogsett.
“This is exactly why we need to have debates all around the county so that people can ask questions and learn about the details behind really big plans that affect everybody's life,” said Brewer.