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Former Marion Co. Sheriff, U.S. Marshal Frank Anderson has died

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Posted at 11:20 AM, Apr 30, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS — Former Marion County Sheriff and U.S. Marshal Frank Anderson has died.

The Marion County Sheriff's Office says Anderson died peacefully at his home on Saturday morning. He served as sheriff from 2003-2011. Anderson was also twice appointed the United States Marshal for the Southern District of Indiana, first serving from 1977 – 1981, and then again from 1994 – 2001.

“I can’t give you a one-line quote to sum up the life of Frank J. Anderson,” said Sheriff Kerry Forestal in a statement. “He was so important to our community. Over the last 60 years, his direction and example in law enforcement – both at the federal and local levels – has positively influenced and affected the lives of many, many people. It certainly has mine. He will be truly missed.”

The Shortridge High School graduate was a state wrestling champion, Navy veteran and the first MCSO Black deputy assigned to the Road Patrol division.

During his swearing in as sheriff, Anderson was described as a leader and a friend. At the time he was the second Black sheriff in Indiana history.

"As Sheriff, Anderson diversified the agency, resolved a multi-decade lawsuit over unconstitutional jail conditions, and oversaw the creation of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department when two divisions of the Sheriff’s Office merged with the Indianapolis Police Department," the MSCO said.

Lawrence Police Chief Gary Woodruff called Anderson's death "an irreplaceable loss."

"What a wonderful, wonderful public servant Frank Anderson was throughout his career," Woodruff said. "He still continued to make impact even upon his retirement ... our hearts go out to his family."

At his swearing in Anderson was also given some advice- don't park on Monument Circle.

"Yes, I am a committee man," Anderson told the crowd. "My definition of committee is when you got problems and you work on these problems, you set down and come up with solutions to work to these problems and you leave the politics outside ... our power is truly awesome and it should never be misused."

During his campaign running against then-Lawrence Mayor Tom Schneider, Schneider said the two are friends and it was tough to run against Anderson.

Anderson was also credited with bringing a standoff with the Indianapolis Baptist Temple to an end without gunfire.

The church had refused to withhold taxes from employee paychecks for 16 years. The federal government had ordered the property seized but Pastor Greg Dixon and several followers decided not to leave the sanctuary for 92 days in 2001. The pastor came out in a stretcher.

Former Sheriff Anderson is survived by his wife of six decades, Mercedes, and his children, Henry and Franché. He was also blessed with grandchildren and great-grandchildren whom he cherished. He was also exceedingly proud of his recently-published book of poetry, Lines & Rhymes.

US District Judge Sarah Evans Barker released the following statement to WRTV:

Frank Anderson modeled everything worthy about a life devoted to public service, about family values and the richness of trusted friendships, about commitment and faithfulness, about excellence infused with humility and modesty. His laughter was his truest expression of love. He refused to shrink from the challenges and demands of hard calls, of courageous sacrifice, of exemplary conduct, and of a resolute adherence to truth telling. To know him and watch him in action and bask in his camaraderie was an inestimable gift. Our city is not likely ever to know another person quite like him or to find a match for his exquisite leadership. I loved him hugely and admired him completely and miss him dearly already. May the angels now carry you home, dear Frank!

Services for Anderson will be held at the Scottish Rite Cathedral.

A viewing is scheduled for Tuesday, May 10, 2022, from Noon to 8 p.m. and from 10 - 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 11.

A celebration of the life of Frank J. Anderson is scheduled to follow Wednesday's visitation. A memorial motorcade past the Birch Bayh Federal Building, the headquarters of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the previous site of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the new Marion County Sheriff’s Office on the Community Justice Campus and Shortridge High School will follow the celebration.

Anderson will be buried in the Heroes of Public Safety section of Crown Hill Cemetery.

IMPD and IMPD North District both shared tributes to him on social media.