Would Indy cops be better without Unigov?

August 31, 2010
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Police protection in the old city of Indianapolis would be better today had Unigov never happened, Chrystal Ratcliffe, president of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, tells the Evansville Courier & Press.

The story, published Sunday, looked at the history of the 1970 merger of most Indianapolis and Marion County government bodies, and what could be learned as Evansville and Vanderburgh County move toward their own version of unified government.

Ratcliffe’s comment came in the context of minority voting power being diluted through the sudden addition of heavily Republican suburbs to the expanded city. The old city roughly corresponded to the boundaries of Center Township.

Residents of the old city were told services would improve, but that didn’t happen, she said. Rather, the people who got the real improvements were those living in the suburbs. Roads certainly are no better in the old city, she said.

Police protection has gone downhill since city police and county sheriff’s departments were merged in 2006, Ratcliffe told the newspaper, with relations between police and the African-American community growing strained.

In the big picture, Unigov was “just not a good thing for the city at all. It’s not good.” Unigov was more of a political ploy than a way to help the city, Ratcliffe added.

How do you feel about her thoughts? Any overall feelings about the successes or failures of Unigov?


  • UniGov
    What does she say to back up her claims? What she omits is the skyrocketing increase of black on black crime. Is that the fault of UniGov?

    Sort of sounds like the Concerned Clergy always looking for somewhere else to point the finger (with three looking back at you, the pointer).
  • Politics
    First, Marion County is largely a dem stronghold (save 2007 Mayoral) as, over time, the suburbs pushed out of Marion County. I am sure the NAACP or other special interest group will assign racial overtones to that fact - but it is justa fact that Marion County has generally been run by Dems and will eventually return to the Dems. The quesiton is how much leaves the county (incidentally or as a result of Dem mgmt). What else explains that Monroe Gray is stilla councilman?

    Secondly, If the old city limits were left as was in place in 1970, the tax base would be low and there would be even less spending in the city. I don't have the facts, but I suspect the taxpayers outside old city limits pay in more than they take out (after adjusting for shared services/centralized activities).

    This lady is just tossing a little political bomb into a conversaiton with little or no facts - reiterate the old "woe is me" refrain of her group.
  • worse than detroit
    can you imagine the utopia Indianapolis would be right now without Unigov?

    I didn't think so...
  • IMPD-Sheriff Merger a Mistake
    I don't think Unigov was a mistake but the 2006 merger of IMPD and the Sheriff's Dept. was a big mistake and we are seeing the problems now. Mayor Ballard was right to put the IMPD back under the mayor's office. It's a problem for him now but it takes civilian leadership to right the IMPD ship and I think that's best done by the mayor, not a sheriff.
  • Span of Control Too Large
    I suspect consolidation of police has resulted in a bureaucratic mess that hampers proper management and, hence, officers' day-to-day abilities to perform their duties. Can you imagine all the hoops an officer has to jump through before he even turns the ignition on in his car? Seems management of the force needs to be broken down to smaller units which, while requiring more first-line supervision, would perhaps afford officers more (properly guided) discretion in their day-to-day duties. I know under the present set-up I sure as hell wouldn't be able to cope with all the red tape if I were a police officer.
    • Your Claims Are Just as Unsubstantiated as The Original Commentator
      Frank, I know it must sound nice to spout off about "hoops" and "red tape," etc. But, really, do you have anything to backup your statements, or did they just sound good to you? What specific red tape does an officer have to go through "before he even turns the ignition on in his car?" And if it does exist, how and why would this be any different pre-IPD and Sheriff's Dept. merger? What extra "discretion" do you think an officer should have that he/she doesn't have now? It would seem many of the current problems in the police department have to do with certain officers being giving too much leeway and with officials not enforcing rules and regulations more strictly, not with there being too much red tape. And, if you or anyone else doesn't want to be an officer, good, don't be one--there is no shortage of people who wish to be officers, and the jobs should go to those who want to do the job and are well-qualified for it.

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