Union calls for probe into unsafe operations center

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A police union wants an independent investigation of safety violations at the Indianapolis center that handled emergency operations during the 2012 Super Bowl.

Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police President Bill Owensby called for the investigation during a news conference Tuesday. He said former Public Safety Director Frank Straub overlooked concerns regarding safety codes so the city could have the center in place for the Super Bowl.

Current Public Safety Director Troy Riggs removed about 150 police and homeland security employees from the 76,000-square-foot center Monday because city fire and building inspectors deemed the building unsafe.

The police officers and Homeland Security officials who worked in the center at the former Eastgate Consumer Mall on the city's east side are setting up shop in other locations across the city.

The city has a 25-year lease worth $18 million with property owner.

Earlier Tuesday, Riggs said the problems include a faulty basement sprinkler system and firewall.

He said he learned about those problems from Department of Code Enforcement and Fire Department officials about 1 p.m. Monday and decided an hour later to evacuate.

"I'm the director of public safety, and I cannot have people in a building that may be unsafe in the event of a fire," he said.

Rent payments were due starting in January, but instead the city has deposited the $59,000 per month in an escrow account until the Public Safety Department could resolve its disagreement with landlord Lifeline Data Centers.

Riggs said his staff has been working on a punchlist of 120 items, but until the recent review by code enforcement and fire inspectors, he believed all issues with the building were cosmetic.

Riggs said he won't try to cancel the lease.

"We think our best course of action is to work with the developer, get these things fixed and get our people back in as soon as possible."


  • Another....
    Another rush job by the city to get ready for the Super Bowl. Remember Georgia Street? I can only imagine the problems that might crop up if we put in another bid.
  • How ironic!
    Good headline for Jay Leno!
  • More Ben Hunter
    If you recall city councilor Ben Hunter was the one who made this deal for the city. He served on the Public Safety committee when this deal was worked. Why isn't Ben Hunter being asked about this? This is exactly the accountability that should be asked for by the citizens of Marion County.
  • LOL - What a headline!
    I'm still giggling!
  • Inspectors?
    Where were the Code Enforcement inspectors when the City money was being spent to build out the improvements?

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............