INDIANAPOLIS—Fox59 Broke the Story: An Outsider Will Head Up City's Police Force. Mayor Expected To Hold News Conference Thursday
Former White Plains, New York Public Safety Commissioner Dr. Frank Straub is leaving the east coast to take over as public safety director of Indianapolis, the 14th largest city in the United States.
Mayor Ballard is expected to make it official with a news conference Thursday. While Ballard say he's excited to name Straub to the post vacated by Scott Newman, the president of the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police is skeptical.
"Concerned certainly would be a good word," said Bill Owensby, president of the FOP.
"I think it's fair to be concerned. Someone coming in from the outside they don't know anything about the community, " he added.
"I think it's a stellar choice for Indianapolis and a sign the city has arrived nationally," said City County Councilman Ben Hunter .
Hunter is a former Sergeant with the Indianapolis Police Department and now director of public safety at Butler University. Hunter is familiar with Straub's resume which includes time working for NYPD.
"You don't become a deputy commissioner without a track record. Obviously overseeing a department of 40,000 individuals, he has that."
One other big question officers have is if Straub will remove Mike Spears as Chief.
"They want to know if this guy's going to be a housecleaner," said Owensby.
White Plains is a middle-class bedroom community of the Big Apple. The suburb has a population of 56,000 compared to Indianapolis' population of 750,000. Straub served seven years as Commissioner in White Plains. He also served as NYPD's Deputy Commissioner of training and developed the first responder program after 9 /11.
"I think Indianapolis is a big step up for him," said John Bailey the editor of White Plains CitizeNetReporter online.
With so many years spent on the east coast some question if Straub will cut his teeth in a larger city and go back.
"If it is indeed a stepping stone, and he's here for two years, more power to him if he moves onto bigger and better things," said Owensby.
"But he's still got a job to do here for two years."