Ciesielski to take over as police chief - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Ciesielski to take over as police chief

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IMPD Chief Michael Spears IMPD Chief Michael Spears
Northwest District Cmdr. Paul Ciesielski Northwest District Cmdr. Paul Ciesielski

Steve Jefferson/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - There are some critical leadership changes coming in the ranks of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

Commander Paul Ciesielski is slated to be named the new Chief of Police for IMPD. He currently is in charge of the Northwest District. Ciesielski worked as the department's public information officer prior to moving up the ranks to major and then commander.

Ciesielski replaces five-year Chief Michael Spears. Both men attended the swearing in of the 7th recruit class Monday.

"I am just very humbled. I'm very excited. I'm ready to go. Really as far as my plans and vision go, I'll wait until Thursday to talk about that. Really right now I just want to thank Chief Spears for the service he's given not only in the last five years as chief but really his whole career. He's been a mentor to me," said Ciesielski.

Public Safety Director Dr. Frank Straub will make the switch official on Thursday. He compared the changes to Olympic athletes.

"Those people are constantly challenging themselves and raising the bar. They don't just say, 'I won the World Cup or this event and I am done'," he said.

Spears told Eyewitness News he realizes the position of chief is appointed and subject to change.

"I suppose in my position you're never surprised because you serve at the pleasure of the mayor. I have wonderful respect for Mayor Ballard. He's done great things for our police department and I'm very pleased to have an opportunity to work with him," said Spears.

Ciesielski's career path includes lieutenant and major before becoming Northwest District Commander. At the district, he was in charge of 200 sworn and ten civilian employees. The district covers 66 square miles and nearly 140,000 citizens.

"I have always been media-friendly and I hope to have a good relationship with all of you," Ciesielski said.

The move comes as a surprise to the rank and file. Spears is taking the change with a grain of a salt. He said he's not sure what the future holds.

"I really don't know. I would like to continue to serve in a meaningful capacity," Spears said.

"It's kind of bittersweet, in a way, to replace him. It's going to be a tough job," Ciesielski said.

Straub believes Ciesielski can do well in his new role.

"Give him the mantel and challenge him," he said.

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