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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, left, listens as police Chief Troy Riggs announces his resignation during a news conference Wednesday in Indianapolis.

Thursday, December 22, 2016 9:05 pm

Indy police chief leaves after 1 year over money

RICK CALLAHAN | Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS – After less than a year on the job, Indianapolis police Chief Troy Riggs announced Wednesday that he will resign soon to pursue other job opportunities, saying the decision was driven by his need to consider his family’s "financial future."

Riggs became chief of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department in January and earned a salary of about $117,000 in the past year.

The 50-year-old, who is married and has two children, said that when he accepted the job of chief in December 2015, he told then-Mayor-elect Joe Hogsett that he might eventually pursue employment elsewhere.

"I have to think about the future of my family, the financial future," Riggs told reporters during a news conference at Hogsett’s office, where he became emotional at times.

Hogsett said the city’s police chief salary is "a bit lower, if not considerably lower," than those of other similar-sized cities, but he said he’s confident the city can find a worthy successor to Riggs.

Hogsett spokeswoman Taylor Schaffer said the mayor and Riggs had spoken recently about the possibilities of increasing the chief’s salary but that given the city’s budget constraints, "any increase would probably have been modest."

Riggs said he has job offers but isn’t seeking another police chief job, and his family hopes to stay in Indianapolis.

"This has been the highlight of my professional career and it is tough to leave," he said. "I leave with no animosity."

Hogsett said Riggs is expected to step down by the end of December but might stay into January as the mayor weighs whether to name an interim police chief or instead appoint a new chief to succeed Riggs.

The mayor said he has "mixed emotions" about Riggs’ departure and praised him for his performance as chief of the 1,600-officer department and his previous work as the city’s public safety director.

Riggs served for three years as Indianapolis’ public safety director under former Mayor Greg Ballard. He stepped down in mid-2015 to take a university research post he held for about six months before accepting the chief’s post.

He earlier served for more than 20 years as a police officer and administrator in Louisville and as police chief, and later assistant city manager, in Corpus Christi, Texas.