INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Marion County sheriff is announcing major cuts to the services his department provides.
Deputies will no longer be transporting inmates to the jail or providing security services at local hospitals for financial reasons.
The responsibility will fall back on the arresting agency.
In Southport, the police chief said that service is vital. Chief Tom Vaughn said there are times when the agency only has one officer on duty, and they don’t have the manpower to drive arrestees to downtown Indianapolis themselves.
“You have the drive time down there, the wait time to get the prisoner into the jail and locked up and processed, and then back… you’re looking at least an hour,” Vaughn said.
That is an hour he said the officer will be unable to respond to calls or be proactive.
“Any time you don’t have an officer in there, that is an opportunity for crime,” Vaughn said.
With changes scheduled to start as soon as Sept. 24, Vaughn is rushing to find a way to fill the void.
A new academy class in Southport just started this week, but it will still be about a year before these new officers graduate and complete training. However, Vaughn said he’s confident he will find a way to increase manpower and keep the community safe.
“It is something that we are going to address. We are going to make sure that the city of Southport is covered… our job is to protect and serve and we are going to do that,” Vaughn said.
In Lawrence and Beech Grove, police said there are already times when they transport their own arrestees and they will continue to do that once these changes occur.
There’s no word on how much money this move will save the sheriff’s office.
Vaughn plans to run against Marion County Sheriff John Layton in the next election.