Facing down a multimillion dollar shortfall, interim Indianapolis Police Chief Rick Hite said he hopes to better allocate resources, not cut officers.
Hite took the reins of the department in April after former Chief Paul Ciesielski resigned after the discovery that a second vial of Officer David Bisard's blood had been mishandled following the 2011 fatal crash.
Since then, Hite has been finding his footing within the department, he told RTV6's Rafael Sanchez in a one-on-one interview Friday.
He said he takes pride in his officers, especially in how they responded to a man who shot at police last week.
"We train in preparation for those kinds of encounters," Hite said.
He also applauded community successes like the violence-free Summer Celebration.
"The message is, we're coming in peace, and this whole notion we have to be a police state when having major community events when dealing with culture is not the case," Hite said.
It's estimated that the Police Department faces an $11 million shortfall at a time when some argue it needs to hire more officers.
When asked what he plans to cut, Hite said he doesn't like that word.
"We have to prioritize what's important to the mission and enterprise of making this a safe place," he said.
Hite's future with the department is uncertain. Mayor Greg Ballard is waiting to hire a new public safety director before a permanent chief is named.
"I can do the job. I believe that's not difficult when you have the community willing to work with you," he said. "I don't want to be a mistake. I don't want to be a mystery. I want people to know me, get to know who we are."