INDIANAPOLIS - The first wave of Department of Public Safety efficiency teams was launched Thursday.
Four teams -- IMPD Personnel Allocation Team, DPS Vehicle Analysis Team, Police Morale Team and DPS Business Plan Team -- are now active.
"Efficiency teams are not just about saving money," said Public Safety Director Troy Riggs. "It's about using tax dollars wisely as well, becoming effective and efficient at the same time."
To accomplish more with less, Public Safety has created 25 efficiency teams that will review every segment touched by the agency. They include hiring, firing, promotions, responses to violent crime and fleet management. One of the most immediate needs identified by the department is officer morale.
"For me, it's always been, I want that guy, the police to go home safe just like I want to go home safe," said City-County Councilor Joe Simpson, D-District 9. "And I want to see them tomorrow so that we know that crime is being taken care of."
Public safety employees, labor unions and government leaders will sit on the efficiency teams, but public safety officials also want that so-called force multiplier, strong engagement with the community it serves.
"Having the community in the conversation by all means, and the business community assisting us with the business processes, hopefully build a police foundation to help augment that," said IMPD Chief Rick Hite. "We're doing a lot with a little bit of money. And frankly, I think we can do more."
Officials have set a goal of having the efficiency teams submit their suggestions by June 1.
The plan is to get out of the rut of having to give more attention to tight budgets than public safety needs.
Riggs said he wants Indianapolis residents engaged in the process.
You can submit your ideas and suggestions here.