Budget Strapped IMPD, Sheriff's Dept. Consider Service Cuts

Officials Could Cut Services To Avoid $10M Budget Crunch

The Indianapolis Metro Police Department and the Marion County Sheriff’s Department each face deficits of more than $10 million, and officials said service cuts are being considered to save both agencies from going under.

Marion County Sheriff John Layton said he has no obligation to provide deputies to guard prisoners sent to Wishard Memorial Hospital and pulling those deputies would save his department more than $1 million annually.

Layton said he also isn’t obligated to provide arrestee transportation services, and pulling deputies off the road would transfer the burden to the arresting police agency, saving thousands of dollars in overtime, RTV6's Jack Rinehart reported.

"It may be time for that type of service to go away. I'm being told to cut my budget. OK, I can do that. But unfortunately, people will suffer,” Layton said.

Indianapolis Public Safety Director Frank Straub testified Monday before the Community Justice Planning Council. Straub said that if he didn't find $10 million by month's end, he would have to turn off the electricity at neighborhood roll calls sites and drastically cut services.

Mayor Greg Ballard admitted Wednesday that Indianapolis is now running a deficit of upwards of $70 million.

"We've had this conversation internally for a while. We knew this was coming out. We've been talking about it publicly for a while now,” Ballard said.

IMPD and MCSD officials have taken their budget problems to the Community Justice Planning Council, where there's concern that one agency’s problems may be resolved at the expense of the other.

"There’s going to have to be some more transparency. I'll tell you that straight up. We need transparency in where the money has been going. And to date, I don’t think there's been a lot of cooperation there,” Straub said.

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