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New IMPD Chief: Who is Troy Riggs?

Posted: 5:57 PM, Dec 08, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-08 22:57:07Z

Troy Riggs came to Indianapolis in 2012 with 22 years of public safety experience already under his belt.

Prior to his appointment by Mayor Greg Ballard as public safety director, Riggs had served as a police officer and assistant police chief in Louisville, Kentucky. He'd also served as police chief and assistant city manager for safety, health and neighborhoods in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Ballard said at the time he sought "top-level experience and bold action" for the candidate to replace former Public Safety Director Frank Straub.

Riggs was hired in September 2012, just three months before IMPD Chief Rick Hite, whom he will replace.

He stepped down from his position as public safety director in June of this year to take a position at IUPUI leading public safety projects and teaching as an assistance professor. Mark Lawrance, director of IUPUI's Public Policy Institute, lauded Riggs for his work for the city of Indianapolis.

"His innovative data-driven community-based approach has resulted in better training and unique collaborations among community partners to improve the safety of our neighborhoods," Lawrance said.

Riggs emphasized when he was hired the first time his commitment to community policing, and his desire to move away from zone policing. Zone policing remained the policy of IMPD through his tenure as public safety director, and it wasn't immediately clear whether he intended to change that.

"I've been in an administrative role, so you haven't known me as a police chief," Riggs said. "You haven't seen some of my visions as a police chief."

Riggs' responsibilities as public safety director also included Indianapolis Animal Care and Control, which has had five directors in the past three years, and 12 over the past 12. The responsibility for finding stability for that agency may now fall upon Mayor-elect Joe Hogsett.

On Tuesday, Riggs said the department must make sure community policing is a "philosophy, not just a program."

"We're going to work harder, smarter and in partnership to deal with the complexities that a major, modern American city deals with. And that job starts today," Riggs said.

One challenge before the incoming police chief is clear: Indianapolis has seen a rise in criminal homicides every year since 2012, and he will be expected to reverse that trend.