Tuesday night, the Indianapolis city-county council moved forward with a proposal that would strip the Chief of Police of his authority and rework the IMPD’s oversight committee to include a civilian majority.
If passed by the council and signed by Mayor Joe Hogsett, Proposal 237 would expand IMPD’s General Orders Committee from three members appointed by the chief, to seven. Four of those members would be civilians with no ties to the police department. Two would be appointed by the mayor, and the other two by the city-county council.
FOP President Rick Snyder told the Hammer and Nigel Show Wednesday that if passed, civilians with little to no experience in law enforcement would have authority over policing procedures and policies.
INDY COUNCIL MOVES TO STRIP CHIEF OF AUTHORITY: Chief of Police believes move is “a step too far.” Proposal will allow convicted felons to serve and write policy for Police Department #PoliticsInPolicing #CityInCrisis https://t.co/9rJC1BZQ9f
— Rick Snyder (@RickFOP86) September 30, 2020
“We are not opposed to civilian involvement,” said Snyder. “In fact, we welcome it. But I don’t think any resident thinks that it’s a wise move to hand the authority over the policies to civilians versus your chief of police, who is a seasoned law enforcement officer.”
Stunningly, when asked about the possibility that convicted felons could serve as civilians on the IMPD oversight board, Snyder said there is no stipulation with regard to a person’s criminal history.
“That means that you can serve on this board even if you have a criminal history that includes felony convictions,” said Snyder. “At the same time, [the bill’s authors] have taken special steps to prohibit current or retired law enforcement officers from participating. And it even goes a step further by stating that anyone who is related to a law enforcement officer from participating.”
He continued: “It concerns me greatly when we have elected politicians who are proactively working to strip the authority from another black law enforcement executive of a major city in our country. And we’re watching it occur all over our country.”
IMPD Chief Randal Taylor spoke out against Proposal 237 at Tuesday night’s meeting, calling it a “step too far.”
“As pendulums move, and they should indeed move, you can also move too far to one side,” Taylor said. “Now, I’ve only been the chief for just nine months, but I’ve made some changes to the department. I’ve worked on transparency.”