INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — On Monday, we found Troy Riggs upbeat and ready for his next challenge. Just last month, Riggs informed Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett that he would be resigning as chief of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. In a news conference that followed shortly after, Riggs cited financial concerns as the reason for him stepping down.
Riggs recently accepted a position in Indianapolis that he is unwilling to disclose at this time, but an announcement could come down as early as this week.
“One of the things we were committed to we wanted to make Indianapolis our home, I have accepted a job in Indianapolis and we could not be more excited to continue to be involved with the city and state,” said Riggs.
During a a 30 minute conversation with Riggs, he praised Mayor Hogsett’s selection of interim IMPD Chief Valerie Cunningham.
“She (Cunningham) has handled some critical incidents that could have led to civil unrest in other cities, it didn’t here, because of her leadership,” said Riggs.
Riggs highlighted the work of the IMPD while leading the department which included a series of raids that netted 2000 arrests, taking guns and drugs off the streets.
He seemed to beam when he talked about an unprecedented sweep that didn’t net one arrest, but fed hundreds of families. Operation New Normal took place in December, when IMPD teamed up with Gleaners and other groups to pass out food and toys just before Christmas. Based on data collected, IMPD determined there were approximately 2,600 families in need of some type of social service.
In 2016, Indianapolis broke a record for homicides in the city at 149. When Riggs accepted the position to lead IMPD, he estimated homicides could surpass 180 in 2016. Cities similar to Indianapolis like St. Louis registered 188, and Memphis reported 228. Despite Indy’s numbers, IMPD fielded calls from other cities questioning how IMPD maintained a four percent increase in homicides when most major cities saw a double digit increase.
“We are getting calls around the nation asking why we are different from everyone else, yes we have struggles yes we have issues, but we have a plan,” said Riggs.
There are some challenges Riggs sees on the horizon for IMPD. Currently Indianapolis is the 14th largest city in the United States with 400 square miles, yet the police department is the 47th largest in the country. He adds this does not take into account the number of conventions, and events IMPD patrols.
Riggs says at some point a discussion about resources will have to take place.