ELKHART — Mayor Tim Neese has chosen a former U.S. attorney and assistant attorney general to lead a review of the city’s police force after controversies over disciplinary cases in the department and a video showing officers beating a handcuffed man.
Neese announced Friday that he asked Deborah J. Daniels, currently a partner in the Indianapolis law firm Krieg DeVault, to study the department’s use of force, disciplinary procedures and culture.
Neese, in a prepared statement, said the final report will not name specific officers or incidents but “rather focus on the Department’s overall systems, policies, and training, and provide recommendations for improvement where needed.”
The mayor will ask the Common Council to approve $150,000 for the study. A first reading of the measure will go before the council Monday. Neese pointed out the study’s cost represents less than 1 percent of the Police Department’s $20.5 million annual budget.
Neese pursued an independent review of the department after Indiana State Police turned down his request to conduct the investigation and after the U.S. Department of Justice failed to respond to multiple requests.
Daniels served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana from 1988 to 1993, and as an assistant attorney general from 2001 to 2005. In 2014, the Ball State University Board of Trustees hired Daniels to review the handling of fraudulent investments that cost the school $13.1 million. The information she uncovered was to be provided to prosecutors.