INDIANAPOLIS–A bill to allow for a five-member commission to take over governance of the Indianapolis Metro Police Dept., is government overreach, says Rep. Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis). He also told lawmakers who don’t live in Indianapolis to stop passing bills that hurt the city.
Taylor made the remarks during the question and answer portion of Tuesday’s press conference on the Democratic agenda at the beginning of this year’s legislative session.
LISTEN: Rep. Greg Taylor talks about the IMPD takeover bill
“We’ve already seen a plethora of bills from our colleagues on the other side of the aisle for some reason to try to micro-manage Marion County,” said Taylor. “The party that we’re fighting against is supposed to be a part of small government.”
State senators Jack Sandlin, of Indianapolis, and Scott Baldwin, of Noblesville, both Republicans, introduced a bill that would shut out the Indy City-County Council and mayor from having any control over the police force, leaving the chief in charge of day-to-day operations and the proposed commission in charge of making the rule, setting the budget and discipline for officers.
“The job of local government is supposed to be left up to local government. Yet, year after year we see legislation changing the way local government can work within its communities,” said Taylor. “For people who profess to be about small government, this seems to be a large government overreach.”
Part of Sandlin’s justification for introducing the bill is to protect the state’s investment in tourism in downtown Indianapolis. Sandlin, a former police officer in Indy, said he does not want to see the city lose conventions because of crime. He believes the city’s administration is not acting quickly or effectively in battling a rash of murders and a pattern of violent crime.
Taylor basically said, butt out.
“Well, if you leave us alone and let us start addressing these issues, rather than once we do something to help the situation in Indianapolis, you decide over at the state house you’ve got a better idea,” he said. “It’s time for the legislators who don’t live in Indianapolis to stop passing bills that hurt Indianapolis. It’s hurting the entire state.”