Why Chris Bailey decided to become IMPD's chief
New IMPD chief Chris Bailey, a 25-year department veteran, has shed "acting" from his title, thanks in part to advice from his teenage daughter.
Why it matters: Bailey's swearing-in on Monday marked the beginning of a new era for IMPD's command staff as it takes on rising youth violence, staffing challenges and continued calls for greater transparency.
- Catherine Cummings and Michael Wolley were also named the department's new assistant chiefs.
The irony: The news came as a surprise to many, because Bailey, who was appointed interim chief last month, previously asked Mayor Joe Hogsett to take his name out of the running for the full-time job.
- At the time, Bailey told Axios he wanted to be present in the lives of his three children.
What happened: During his swearing-in ceremony, Bailey explained his change of heart came after a discussion with his 15-year-old daughter during a family road trip.
- "I explained my reasons for declining that opportunity, and she — in her best Gen Z way — told me I was wrong," Bailey said, fighting off tears as he turned to his family and told the story.
- "Wise beyond her years, she reminded me that the best way I can show up for her as a parent is to show up for my whole community."
The big picture: Bailey said Monday it's now full steam ahead on a number of tasks assigned to him by the mayor when he was tapped to be acting chief.
- That includes working to find a research partner to help IMPD to better understand recent upticks in the number of police shootings.
Flashback: Bailey is IMPD's first new leader in four years, following the retirement of former chief Randal Taylor, who led the department through the pandemic.
- "Through it all, chief Taylor has been a model of calm leadership and civility," Hogsett said at Monday's ceremony.
Meanwhile, new assistant chief Cummings will oversee the execution of IMPD's first strategic plan and oversee a community engagement bureau, recruitment and retention efforts and a new IMPD office of technology.
- Assistant chief Wolley will focus on crime prevention and addressing violence in Indy neighborhoods while also overseeing the department's operations and investigations divisions.
Parting shot: "I love this city. This is my home, and there is no place that I'd rather be," Bailey said Monday.
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