Mayor Ballard to name Troy Riggs as new public safety director

Troy Riggs

Mayor Ballard will announce his new public safety director Tuesday. City spokesman Marc Lotter says the mayor will hold a news conference at 10:00 am on Tuesday, but on Monday, the City of Corpus Christi indicated that the mayor's pick was Troy Riggs.

Riggs' appointment as the new public safety director here in Indianapolis has created quite a buzz in three cities - first in Corpus Christi, where he resigned Monday as assistant city manager and previously served as police chief.

Riggs also spent 20 years in Louisville as a police officer where he departed with the rank of Lt. Colonel.

In Indianapolis, he edged out three other finalists for the top public safety post. The other finalists included Indianapolis Fire Chief Brian Sanford, Indianapolis Homeland Security Chief Gary Coons, and Todd Kiel, a former assistant secretary at the US Department of Homeland Security.

Although Corpus Christi announced Riggs' departure in a press release, Mayor Ballard's staff would not talk about Riggs Monday - or the mounting challenges that await him, including a nearly $60 million shortfall in the public safety budget.

Riggs' former boss, City Manager Ron Olson, had this to say:

"Troy is more than an asset; he is a tremendous public servant. Troy took on a large challenge at the police department and as an Assistant City Manager, and he has magnified the scope of the positions..responsibilities and raised the bar in the management of projects. Troy has such an upbeat personality, we are all going to miss him."

Riggs leaves behind the first business plan for the Corpus Christi Police Department that included $5 million in cuts and a reduction in crime.

How does Riggs stack up on other pressing issues, like hiring practices and community relations?

Indianapolis has faced a number of lawsuits alleging discrimination. Riggs reportedly identified discrimination in Corpus Christi and established a new process there.

When it comes to community relations, it's no secret that Riggs' predecessor Frank Straub ran into trouble with his style of management. The Corpus Christi chief of police tells Eyewitness News Riggs is more of a consensus builder.

Indianapolis is about three times the size of Corpus Christi, so there could be some adjustments.