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Officials protest Marion County Sheriff's plan on jail transports

Posted at 12:42 PM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 14:57:37-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A big change for several local police departments is coming.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office will soon stop transporting people arrested by police outside Indianapolis to the Marion County Jail.

It means police officers in Beech Grove, Cumberland, Lawrence, Southport and Speedway will have to transport those detainees themselves.

Leaders from those cities and towns joined on Tuesday to protest the change.

They said they wonder why they are paying taxes for the transport service if the sheriff’s office is planning to end it.

“If you are not going to provide this service to us, then on behalf of every single taxpayer in these cities and towns, we want that money returned to these cities and towns so that we can properly provide this service,” Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley said.

The Marion County Sheriff's Office released a statement discussing staffing difficulties and cost issues:

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office has long reported critical staffing difficulties and the fact that no other Sheriff’s Office in the state is saddled with the costs of arrestee healthcare and transportation — costs the Sheriff has no ability to control. The MCSO’s transition to the Community Justice Campus (CJC) will double the number of inmates for which we provide direct oversight. The most recent Controller-directed budgetary process simply did not fund enough MCSO staff to handle this significant increase and perform arrestee services. According to Colonel James Martin, the Controller’s financial priority was for the MCSO to eliminate arrestee services and focus on staffing and security for the Adult Detention Center, CJC, and City-County Building.