Seven members of the Indianapolis City-County Council put forth a proposal Monday that seeks to restructure the current General Orders Committee, which is tasked with dictating policy for the Indianapolis Metro Police Department.
Proposal 237 is part of a wider effort to implement police reform on the local level. The plan would increase the number of seats on the General Order Committee from three to seven, with a majority of those seats occupied by civilians.
Among the bill’s co-sponsors are Keith Potts, Crista Carlino, Zach Adamson, and council president Vop Osili. No Republicans on the City-County Council have co-sponsored it.
It’s not clear if or when the proposal will come up for a vote.
FOP President Rick Snyder returned to the Hammer & Nigel Show Tuesday to discuss the controversial proposal, which he says would effectively strip the authority of the Chief of Police to establish policies for IMPD.
— Rick Snyder (@RickFOP86) September 15, 2020
“There’s a real problem with the confusion this creates for our officers and the residents in our city,” Snyder told Hammer and Nigel. “That’s why we have political structures that specifically oversee policing that are separate and distinct from the policing in practice. We have to keep politics out of policing decisions.”
Snyder warned that the proposal is a backdoor to efforts to defund the IMPD.
“In July of this year, we had a speaker that was present at the invitation of the councilors who introduced this proposal who made his intentions very clear,” said Snyder. “He was calling for the defunding of the IMPD. He was emphatic about it, and he was representing the very organization that has its fingerprints all over this proposed policy.”
The unnamed speaker to whom Snyder refers is allegedly the vice-chair of the Democratic party in Marion County.
“That raises a lot of concerns and questions here as to what exactly is going on,” said Snyder, who called upon the City-County Council to slow the process down on proposal 237 and solicit input from IMPD officers as well as civilians in the community.
“But we must keep that legal authority with the chief of police – not because it means one person is ‘in charge,’ but because it establishes that there is one person who is accountable,” Snyder said. “And we’ve already got a system of checks and balances with the civilian police merit board, a civilian complaint review board, and now, it appears they want to add another layer of bureaucracy to slow down effective policing in our city.
Click below to hear Hammer and Nigel’s full interview with FOP President Rick Snyder.