Troy Riggs is Indianapolis’ new public service director as of October 29, and he’s saying all the right things in the early going about trying to get more police on the street. The question is: how is he going to do it.
Riggs, who Mayor Greg Ballard's Administration found doing a similar job as the Indianapolis Public Safety Director in Corpus Christi, TX, seems well-qualified for the job having served as a police officer, police chief, and assistant city manager. He will have to use all his considerable skills to find money and budget space for his plans to increase the force.
A quick web search finds that Riggs is familiar with a police department like IMPD. He was the commanding officer of the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department. Indianapolis, as you may remember, used Louisville as a model for the merger of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department and the Indianapolis Police Department in 2007. Beyond his work with IMPD, Riggs will oversee several other areas such as IFD and Animal Care and Control. He was over those areas when he was in Corpus Christi as Assistant City Manager.
If you want to know what kind of ship Riggs may run, this 2010 piece in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times may give you a clue. It appears he’s a reformer like Straub but has accomplished his work in a much different manner. Rather than the caustic and abrasive personality of Dr. Straub, Riggs seems, from this piece at least, to have a different way of doing things. You can read his official bio on the City of Corpus Christi's web page here.
Riggs' appointment probably won't make everyone happy, and he has a lot of fence mending to do. Hopefully, Indianapolis has found a Public Safety Director that is willing to manage but let others lead. When Riggs takes office in late October, we'll see how quickly things change or stay the same.