INDIANAPOLIS – Police departments throughout Marion County will soon need to take over transporting prisoners to jails as the Marion County Sheriff’s Office will halt their transportation services next month.
With only two officers on duty, officials with the Cumberland Police Department fear the new plan could force them to spend more time transporting people than patrolling.
In Indianapolis, police believe it’s a manpower issue.
“Certainly, we don't have a plethora of bodies but at the end of the day if we are mandated to do, we are prepared to do,” said Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Sgt. Kendale Adams.
The Indy airport will also be impacted as over 200 people are arrested on the grounds each year. Additionally, the new plan will pull security from the county’s hospitals, which will call for local police to pick up.
Marion County Sheriff John Layton, who made the announcement Monday, said his budget can no longer provide services not mandated by the law.
"We can't go any longer, we have tried, we have band-aided and can't any longer,” said Layton, who mentioned he’s losing about six deputies per month to higher paying jobs. “They've been running on pride a lot but that doesn't buy bread on the table for their families.”
Members of the Marion County Republican Party don’t believe the plan will work well.
“To do this 60 days before a budget has to be approved, when there’s so many questions about the Marion County budget itself...let's take a year,” said Jim Merritt, Marion County Republican Party Chair.
The police chief in Cumberland and other departments hope a solution will be proposed.
The Indianapolis FOP released the following statement Tuesday in reaction to the sheriff's announcement:
"While we have concerns about the narrow timeline proposed for such a transition, we have confidence in the ability of the IMPD chief of police to manage the situation. In the interim, a thorough review of the resources and assets needed for such a transition should be explored especially as it relates to the ripple effects placed upon IMPD and other local law enforcement agencies related to staffing, resources and equipment. This should include an analysis of any such budgetary allocations, equipment transfers and personnel equivalents made to the sheriff's department when they assumed these responsibilities as part of the merger in 2007."