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Officer's slaying highlights Indy's safety concerns

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is facing growing criticism of his administration and its policies, and the shooting death of a city policeman Friday won't help: The mayor was out of the country, traveling with Indy Chamber officials in Europe.

Officer Rod Bradway, a five-year veteran of the police department, died from gunshot wounds to the head and chest after he entered an apartment where a woman was screaming for help.

Ballard's office quickly issued a news release praising the slain officer, along with an announcement that the mayor was canceling the rest of his trip.

"Due to the tragic events of this morning, Mayor Ballard will not participate in the Indy Chamber Leadership Exchange in Cologne, Germany," according to a news release from the mayor's office. "He is currently making arrangements to return to Indianapolis. Details will be provided at a later time."

Ballard has been under fire in recent weeks for a decision to renegotiate police and fire raises. Some residents have questioned why there is no money for public safety when the city was investing $6 million into cricket fields at the World Sports Park. His overseas trips, including one to India, also have drawn criticism.

In terms of timing, Ballard couldn't have found himself in a worse situation when one of the city's police officers died in the line of duty.