Bill Benjamin announced Tuesday that he will serve as police chief under Republican state Sen. Jim Merritt if Merritt is elected mayor.
Benjamin, a Democrat, was publicly offered the position by Republican mayoral candidate Merritt last week. He says crime prevention in the city has nothing to do with political affiliation.
“This is not about political parties, it’s about the safety of the people of Indianapolis," Benjamin says. "Bipartisan efforts are made every day in this county. And that’s all this is."
Benjamin is a former IMPD deputy chief. He says Merritt’s proposed public safety plan matches the platform he used in 2018 when he ran for Marion County Sheriff.
Merritt has been criticized for proposing a law enforcement technique that some say could lead to stop and frisk questioning. Benjamin did not publicly disagree with Merritt’s plan, but says he is not interested in stopping people without probable cause.
Following the announcement, Mayor Joe Hogsett’s campaign released a statement defending current IMPD Chief Bryan Roach. Roach has only agreed to serve as chief through the end of Hogsett’s current term.