IMPD officers, demoted after Bisard crash, now promoted

Ronald Hicks was promoted to Assistant Chief of Police.

The Indianapolis Metro Police Department promoted some of its officers to high-ranking positions Monday. Ronald Hicks and John Conley both played roles at the scene where suspended Officer David Bisard is accused of crashing into three motorcycle riders while driving drunk in August 2010.

Ronald Hicks was promoted to Assistant Chief of Police and John Conley is now Commander of the Southeast District. Both were promoted in a ceremony held in the Chief's Conference Room.

Hicks and Conley, along with then- Assistant Chief Darryl Pierce, were demoted a few weeks after the Bisard crash, which claimed the life of Eric Wells, due to a "failure in leadership" amid claims of a flawed investigation. Bisard's blood alcohol content was tested at well over the legal limit, but drunk driving charges were thrown out on a technicality stemming from the way the blood sample was handled.

Hicks, Conley and Pierce were dropped to their merit ranks of lieutenant in the demotion.

However, on Monday, Director of Public Safety Troy Riggs praised Hicks and Conley, saying, "Each man brings an enormous amount of experience, integrity and devotion to public service in their new roles within the police department. I am pleased to recognize their leadership abilities and importance to the future of this organization."

"I am very happy to announce these additions to our command staff," said IMPD Chief Rick Hite. "Both have been involved in the planning and implementation of many recent events, including the Super Bowl, Downtown Summer Celebrations and the Richmond Hills response. These men are strong leaders and excellent role models for our officers."

Both men said Monday's promotions came as a surprise, much like their demotions during the Bisard case.

"I came to work everyday, trying to do the best job they wanted me to do and try to give leadership and guidance to young officers that asked," said Conley.

"When I was approached, I was thrilled. I was flattered, I was humbled by it. This is a great opportunity for me personally and for the police department," Hicks said.

Ryan Wells, whose brother died in the crash, told Eyewitness News by telephone Monday that he is not surprised by the promotions. He still blames everyone on the crash scene for the issues with the investigation.

About Ron Hicks

Ron Hicks joined the Indianapolis Police Department as a reserve police officer in 1989 and started his full-time career with the department in 1992. He was promoted to sergeant in 1998, lieutenant in 2005 and captain in 2010. Hicks has been the commander of the Southeast District since September of 2011 and is also the commander of the IMPD Crisis Negotiations Unit in the Homeland Security Division. Hicks is a faculty member of the IMPD Leadership Academy and was the recipient of the first annual Joshua Chamberlain Leadership Award.

Hicks has a degree in criminal justice and is a proud veteran of the USMC. He is a graduate of the 239th session of the FBI National Academy and the IMPD

Leadership Academy Session 2010-01. On a personal note, Hicks has been married to his wife Lisa for 25 years and they have two children, Amanda and Matt.

About John Conley

John Conley began his career with the Indianapolis Police Department in July of 1976. After completing the academy, he was assigned to Henry Sector, which is now known as SouthEast District. He was promoted to sergeant in 1988 and then to lieutenant in 2000. He is a 2002 graduate of the FBI - National Academy. Since 2010, Conley has been an invaluable asset to the Homeland Security Bureau in the planning and implementation of recent Circle City Classics, the Downtown Summer Celebrations and the 2012 Super Bowl.

Conley is a long time resident of Franklin Township and member of the Indian Creek Christian Church. He is married with three children.