Wednesday, May 22 2013 1:02 PM EDT2013-05-22 17:02:01 GMT
It's been 24 hours since news broke of a Federal Bureau of Investigation raid at the City-County Building confiscating files from the Indy Land Bank program. The federal investigation also led to the arrestMore >>
Mayor Ballard held a news conference this morning hoping to shine light on several significant construction projects going around the city this season. Instead, all anyone wanted to talk about was the federal investigation into the Land Bank program, what he knew, when and why he didn't say something sooner.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:38 PM EDT2013-05-22 16:38:55 GMT
You paid for it. Now the question is, where is it? Tonight at 11:00 pm, 13 Investigates has discovered the State of Indiana has thousands of items classified as lost or missing. Some of it is stuff youMore >>
What is the state doing with a concert grand piano and a robotic deer? And why are these items - and others - missing?
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:09 AM EDT2013-05-22 15:09:50 GMT
The Internal Revenue Service official at the center of the storm over the agency's targeting of conservative groups has told Congress she did nothing wrong and has invoked her constitutional right to notMore >>
The Internal Revenue Service official at the center of the storm over the agency's targeting of conservative groups has told Congress she did nothing wrong and has invoked her constitutional right to not answer lawmakers' questions.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:56 AM EDT2013-05-22 14:56:01 GMT
Telemarketers are deploying new tactics to get your secret information - and all they have to do is get you to answer the phone. A call to a home phone this week showed up on the screen as "private name,More >>
Telemarketers are deploying new tactics to get your secret information - and all they have to do is get you to answer the phone.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:55 AM EDT2013-05-22 14:55:33 GMT
Tiger Woods says the "fried chicken" comment from Sergio Garcia was hurtful and inappropriate. Two weeks after they verbally sparred at The Players Championship, Woods says it's time to move on. GarciaMore >>
Tiger Woods says the "fried chicken" comment from Sergio Garcia was hurtful and inappropriate. Two weeks after they verbally sparred at The Players Championship, Woods says it's time to move on.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:46 AM EDT2013-05-22 14:46:45 GMT
In a community used to experiencing tornadoes, many in Moore, Oklahoma are in a state of shock. "This was the storm of storms," said Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. Monday's tornado was categorizedMore >>
The mayor of the Oklahoma City suburb battered by a monstrous tornado says he is pushing to require safe-room shelters in all new homes.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:35 AM EDT2013-05-22 14:35:19 GMT
A $3.4 million grant from the Lilly Endowment will help place about 90 teachers in the Indianapolis Public Schools. Some $2 million of that grant to The Mind Trust will go toward adding 40 people to theMore >>
A $3.4 million grant from the Lilly Endowment will help place about 90 teachers in the Indianapolis Public Schools.More >>
Indianapolis - Mayor Greg Ballard and his top public safety officials are taking action in response to a 13 Investigates report. They're trying to detect officers with troubling crash histories before it's too late.
13 Investigates breaks down the cost to taxpayers as IMPD weighs in on tracking and ticketing police officers.
In-dash police video released by Public Safety officials in Kalamazoo, Michigan, captured the final seconds before a high speed crash between two police vehicles. The officers were racing to the scene of a break-in when the lead officer suddenly hit the brakes and made an abrupt "U-turn" smack in the path of another officer.
We showed the video to Deputy Chief Valerie Cunningham, who oversees professional standards and discipline at IMPD.
"A crash like that would be evaluated and if an officer has a problem, mediation and retraining is the answer," said Cunningham, after grimacing at the impact of the collision.
Kalamazoo Police took a rare step. They gave a ticket to their own officer for unsafe driving on the job. But here in Indianapolis, tickets are for motorists, not police officers who crash their cruisers - even if it is the officer's fault.
"Internal sanctions and internal discipline would probably be more harsh and more effective to remediate an officer's action than to just having them pay a fine," explained Cunningham, who balked at the idea of ticketing working police officers.
"I understand the public's concern that officers perhaps aren't receiving a ticket like they would receive. However, I assure you they're held to a higher standard in their driving behavior," she added.
Over a two-and-a-half-year period, IMPD officers were involved in more than 1,300 accidents.
Taxpayers ended up covering the cost for $838,000 in repairs. The remaining costs were paid by the insurance companies of at-fault drivers.
Nine officers had five or more crashes each. One in four of those crashes was ruled preventable.
"I think it's unacceptable," Public Safety Director Frank Straub told 13 Investigates after we shared our findings.
State training experts say repeat crashes should warn supervisors about officers on the brink of trouble.
"If you've got someone out there who's constantly wrecking cars, or injuring people in accidents, there's a liability issue there," said Lt. Nick Schiavarelli, a driving instructor at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield.
IMPD Officer David Dinsmore was found passed out in his police cruiser after hitting a mailbox. Moments prior, a driver captured this video of a police car swerving on I-465.
Dinsmore admitted taking the powerful narcotic OxyContin prior to an accident that same night. As a matter of fact, he admitted to using the drug for five years on the job.
During that same time, 13 Investigates discovered Dinsmore had repeat accidents - information IMPD was oblivious to until 13 Investigates started asking questions.
Dinsmore was charged with driving while impaired, and is now suspended pending termination.
"We realize we have issues here...recognizing driving record and matching that to conduct to make sure sanctions were imposed," admitted Deputy Chief Cunningham.
She said Dinsmore went undetected because IMPD does not include crash history in its discipline tracking system, leaving supervisors blind to possible ongoing problems behind the wheel.
"There were no specific disciplinary flags," Cunningham explained. "The accident records were in a separate repository, so until we were asked to go back and dig for it, it wasn't available," she said.
So how are police departments of similar size to Indianapolis keeping a handle on officer driving records?
Ticketing their own officers
13 Investigates requested data from 180 miles away in Columbus, Ohio from a department that's slightly larger, with 1,800 sworn officers.
"Anytime you have an accident involving 1 officer or 900, yeah, we're going to take a look at it," said Sgt. Rich Weiner, a spokesman for the Columbus Police Department.
In Columbus, 13 Investigates found just over 900 police accidents over three years.
That's 68 percent fewer accidents than at IMPD.
Columbus also had half the number of officers involved in five or more accidents.
"That's concerning, I don't know if you want to say that it's excessive, but anytime you see a pattern with officers. We want to take corrective actions," said Weiner reacting to the numbers.
Overall, more than 50 percent of the accidents at the Columbus Police Department were not the officer's fault. But more than 100 officers were ticketed by their own department with fines up to $120.
The city's fleet committee tracks it all with a computer grid that shows everything from the date of the accident, to what if any discipline, to when the accident record was sent to the officer's personnel file.
"We're able to track what our officers are doing and how they're driving," said Weiner, "I don't know if we're aggressive in this compared to other agencies, but it's a system that works for us," he added.
As a result of our investigation, IMPD is now looking at state of the art software to keep a close eye on officers who repeatedly crash their cruisers.
"This made the A-list. The director, the mayor, the controller and of course the chief have approved the purchase of this software," Cunningham confirmed.
The $50,000 upgrade could help IMPD put the brakes on crashed cars and rebuild its reputation on the road.
"Basically if you can predict something might occur, then you have the opportunity to stop it," Cunningham told 13 Investigates. She says the department is hoping to "Look for these flags and try to grab them, to grab these officers before an incident."
IMPD plans to select a system by June 1st. Then the tedious work of entering thousands of crash histories will get underway.
The department is also expecting an audit and recommendations from PERF, the Police Executive Research Forum, to help devise new crash policies.
Officer Dinsmore's next court date is March 8. Meanwhile, Officer Matthew Elam, who was indicted for official misconduct by a grand jury that said he failed to disclose an accident in his cruiser and had a private garage make repairs, is now seeking to get his charges dismissed. Elam's attorney called the misconduct charges vague and a violation of his constitutional rights. Elam goes to court March 24.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 9:37 PM EDT2013-05-22 01:37:26 GMT
A South Bend teenager who angered a judge by smirking during his sentencing for killing a 16-year-old boy has received the maximum time behind bars allowed under a plea agreement. St. Joseph SuperiorMore >>
A South Bend teenager who angered a judge by smirking during his sentencing for killing a 16-year-old boy has received the maximum time behind bars allowed under a plea agreement.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 5:21 AM EDT2013-05-22 09:21:57 GMT
State health officials are urging people to be careful as they head for Indiana's lakes and other bodies of water for summer recreation. The Indiana State Department of Health this week issued a listMore >>
State health officials are urging people to be careful as they head for Indiana's lakes and other bodies of water for summer recreation.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:50 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:50:23 GMT
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is searching offices at the Indianapolis City-County Building Tuesday. Several city employees have been arrested. The Department of Metropolitan Development DirectorMore >>
Two city employees and three others are accused of using a city program aimed at tackling the abandoned house problem and turning it into a money-making venture. The five face charges involving wire fraud and bribery.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:52 PM EDT2013-05-22 02:52:29 GMT
We've seen the damage from Oklahoma, hundreds of homes leveled. You have also seen those that survived a direct hit did so in a storm shelter. Storms shelters have not caught on in Indiana like otherMore >>
Storm shelters haven't caught on in Indiana like in some states along Tornado Alley, but more Hoosiers are making the investment to keep their families safe.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 4:24 AM EDT2013-05-22 08:24:20 GMT
Organizers of a summer camp for children of military families say the program will go on this summer at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore despite losing federal funding. Operators of Indiana Operation:More >>
Organizers of a summer camp for children of military families say the program will go on this summer at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore despite losing federal funding.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 4:22 AM EDT2013-05-22 08:22:57 GMT
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to add three Superfund sites in Indiana to its highest priority cleanup list for hazardous waste sites. The EPA proposed Tuesday adding Superfund sites inMore >>
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to add three Superfund sites in Indiana to its highest priority cleanup list for hazardous waste sites.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 5:44 PM EDT2013-05-21 21:44:57 GMT
Cody Zeller's decision to leave Indiana University and head to the NBA looks like it may be paying off. Zeller's stock has gone up considerably after his performance last week at the NBA Combine in Chicago.More >>
Cody Zeller's decision to leave Indiana University and head to the NBA looks like it may be paying off.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 9:01 PM EDT2013-05-22 01:01:00 GMT
Police arrested a semi driver with a blood-alcohol content more than three times the legal limit after a tip from a motorist in Grant County. State troopers monitoring a work zone on I-69 near the 271More >>
Police arrested a semi driver with a blood-alcohol content more than three times the legal limit after a tip from a motorist in Grant County.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:47 AM EDT2013-05-22 11:47:04 GMT
After a quiet start to the week, things heat up today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Community Day. And the track has a lot of family-friendly events planned. Community Day is a fan favoriteMore >>
After a quiet start to the week, things heat up today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Community Day and a Pacers playoff game tonight. Threre are plenty of fan-friendly events planned for both.More >>