If Indianapolis wants to continue to attract top officials to run government agencies, the outgoing public safety director warns they’ll have to be paid more.
Troy Riggs leaves the Indianapolis Department of Public Safety at the end of month. A short-term replacement until a new mayor takes over in January has not been named yet.
In an interview with WFYI, Riggs was blunt about the challenge Indy has in bringing in top-notch people to run agencies like his.
"Now that I’m leaving, let me be a little bit bold in saying this," he said. "We have to have a community discussion about what we pay some of our top individuals in public safety."
Riggs earned $130,035 last year as public safety director, according to Indiana Gateway for Government Units, though he says he’s talking about deputies and chiefs.
"I don’t have anyone working for me that can’t go down I-65 to Louisville, or to Cincinnati, or to St. Louis, or Chicago and make significantly greater sums of money," Riggs said. "And that’s going to catch up to us eventually."
IMPD police chief Rick Hite earns $118,657, according to the Indiana Gateway database. His counterpart down I-65 in Louisville earns about $173,000, according city records. The chief of the St. Louis Police Department is paid $127,000.
Riggs is taking on a role at IUPUI after a career in law enforcement and government. He said it will be hard to find someone to fill out of the final five months of the Greg Ballard administration.