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Ex-Indy safety director resigns from new role

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Posted at 9:21 PM, Sep 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-22 21:21:10-04

Former Indianapolis public safety director Frank Straub has stepped down from his job as chief of police in Spokane, Washington, amid mounting criticism, according to local ABC-affiliate KXLY.

Straub has faced opposition in his role as chief from the Police Captains and Lieutenants Association, which has reportedly complained about his abrasive leadership, including alleged incidents of profanity-laced screaming at subordinates, KXLY reported.

The city of Spokane said Straub's resignation comes from a desire to "pursue new opportunities and be closer to family."

MORE | Straub resigning as public safety director | Mayor Ballard, FOP react to Straub's resignation

KXLY reports that Straub instituted a number of "sweeping changes" during his time as Spokane's chief of police, including the introduction of body cameras, establishing new precincts to improve response times and adding critical incident training for all officers to learn the signs of someone experiencing a mental health crisis.

“I am very proud of the work that has been done to re-engage the Spokane Police Division with the community and drive down crime,” Straub said in a written statement. “We have achieved great things and brought policing in Spokane closer to the community. Rather than engage in a public discussion that distracts from making Spokane safer I have told the Mayor that it is time for new energy and perspective.”

Straub was appointed as Indianapolis' public safety director in 2010 by Mayor Greg Ballard.

While in Indy, Straub's policing model received national and international recognition and the city's homicide rate dropped to a 15-year low. But Straub also fought regularly with the rank-and-file within IMPD, and was criticized about the department's handling of the David Bisard case.

Straub resigned as Indianapolis' public safety director in April 2012 amid calls for him to be replaced by former Marion County law enforcement officers and the Fraternal Order of Police.

Before coming to Indianapolis, Straub led development and implementation of first responder training programs for the New York City Police Department following the 9/11 attacks.