Department of Public Safety announces planned 'efficiency teams' to streamline operations

Public input welcome

INDIANAPOLIS - Everyone will have a say in the top-to-bottom review of the city's first-line public safety responders, according to a new initiative announced Tuesday. 

Rank-and-file, appointed and elected officials and community groups will have a say in shaping the future of public safety in Indianapolis

As many as 20 different committees will create a blueprint for the five public safety agencies that include police, fire, Homeland Security, Emergency Medical Services and Animal Care and Control.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard announced the initiative Tuesday afternoon.

Along with improving service, the mayor said the overhaul will make public safety more transparent.

The committees will develop a plan with operational goals and performance standards that will measure success and failure. 

Public Safety Director Troy Riggs announced that the first four teams will address business practices, use of hybrid and electric vehicles, employee morale and allocation of police resources.

"One of the things that I'm committed to doing is making sure that we know what and where every police officer is working at this time, what their function is and are they being efficiently used," Riggs said.

The city faces a $60 million shortfall for 2013. Much of that funding will impact public safety agencies and the criminal justice system.

The Fraternal Order of Police, which will get a seat at the table, said wringing inefficiencies out of the process is crucial to public safety.

"We are reaching a very critical tipping point in terms of manpower," said FOP President Bill Owensby. "We're going to be unable to provide adequate public safety to our citizens who are paying for that because we don't have adequate manpower."

Unlike the previous public safety director, Riggs wins praise for including a wide cross section of participants, including members of both political parties.

"This is the first time I've seen more Council input, requesting more council members to participate than at any time I've ever seen in my terms of the City Council," said Mary Moriarity-Adams, D-Public Safety Committee.

The public can share input on the city's website .

Riggs said he wants to have the public safety blueprint ready for 2014.

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