INDIANAPOLIS, IN – As the Super Bowl quickly approaches, some Indianapolis police officers are frustrated over the lack of information from IMPD about its safety plan and how leaders will execute it.
At a public safety board meeting, Wednesday, Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police president Bill Owensby complained that he still had not seen a hard copy of the plan.
Owensby said the lack of information was sparking rumors among officers about how overtime would be made up and whether or not the public would be secure post-Super Bowl Sunday.
“We have to make sure that we have as many officers out there patrolling as we would any other given day,” said Owensby. “We’re being told that that’s the case, but… I have not seen any numbers. And I’m really concerned that if we get down to a bare bones or below bare bones, there’s going to be an issue.”
Chief Paul Ciesielski responded to Owensby’s concerns and insisted the public was in good hands, but that “details really are still being planned,” because of the size of the event.
“We are used to the 500’s, and the 400’s, and Moto GP’s and the Final Four’s, but we have literally not seen anything like this in terms of planning, manpower, and resources that it’s going to take for all of public safety,” said Ciesielski.
According to current plans, IMPD has canceled 10 days off so it can deploy up to 800 officers downtown during the Super Bowl and still allow for officers to patrol in other districts.
“When you call 911, if you have an emergency, an officer will be there as quickly as possible,” explained Ciesielski. “We’re not going to have all of our resources downtown. We will be in the districts, in the neighborhoods like they always are.”
He also reassured that officers would who worked overtime would be given the choice of taking time and a half pay or approved time off within the same time card.
“If we run into a problem (after) where we miscalculated or maybe somebody called in sick or has an injury, we’re short, we will call officers back and hire them under overtime. We will not let the streets go short either before, during, or after the Super Bowl.”
That wasn’t enough to satisfy Owensby. He still wanted details on paper over words.
“I’m still not comfortable with what exactly did we get for overtime and have we utilized it in the best manner possible,” said Owensby.