Rick Snyder, President of the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police, warned Tuesday that “politics in policing” is prompting qualified and experienced law enforcement officers across the nation to abandon their profession.
Democrats on the Indianapolis City-County Council voted to approve proposal 237 Monday night, a plan to create a civilian majority on the IMPD General Orders Board. The proposal will expand the board from the three seats to seven, and four of those seats would have to be occupied by civilians appointed by the council and the mayor.
POLITICS IN POLICING is driving out seasoned and well reasoned leaders in law enforcement across the nation | Such practices hollow out an agency and is a disservice to the community #RealWorldImpact https://t.co/mwiq8Apo9J
— Rick Snyder (@RickFOP86) October 13, 2020
“The real frustration for officers and their families is a lot of the intent that was identified [by the passage] of the proposal,” Synder told WIBC’s Hammer and Nigel Show Tuesday.
He explained: “When this was originally introduced – and what folks might want to ‘forget’ – there was a press conference in which folks from an agenda-driven group stood with the councilors and openly advocated for the defunding of the police department. And that was the real ‘warning bell’ for us when we originally learned of this proposal.”
Synder said he believes the intent behind the passage of Proposal 237 is to seize control of the IMPD, adding that under the new structure of the General Orders Board, civilians could dictate policy for officers without input from the law enforcement community.
“That’s not [hearsay or conspiracy],” said Synder. “The Chair of the Public Safety Committee took the step to be emphatic in saying ‘yes, that can happen,’ and also said that the [IMPD] Chief of Police [Randal Taylor] would have no veto power over civilians who would formulate policies that could very well be out of bounds for what is considered ‘best practices’ in law enforcement.”
Snyder told Hammer and Nigel that ‘politics in policing’ has resulted in a lack of qualified candidates applying for jobs in law enforcement.
Snyder: “Who would want to be a police officer in the current political environment? Most candidates for law enforcement don’t go into the job to be political, they go into the job because they have a desire to protect the public and uphold the United States Constitution. And if you have a candidate who goes into the job because they have political aspirations, you better watch them because that kind of an agenda breeds corruption.”
The FOP President made a point to affirms his support of civilian input in the process of crafting policy for law enforcement.
“We value that perspective at the table and we have called for that input,” said Snyder, “but it should not be the majority, nor override the authority of the Chief of Police. And what the passage of this proposal does is strip the authority of IMPD Chief Randal Taylor and reduce him to an adviser to the board who is then required by law to carry out their directives,” he said. “That tells you right there that this is a power grab of the police department.”
Click below to hear Hammer and Nigel’s full interview with FOP President Rick Snyder.