It’s that time of year when the Fishers Police Department is taking applications for its Citizens Academy. The program starts the evening of March 8th and continues each Wednesday evening for a total of 12 weeks.
Graduates of this program are very complimentary of the experience. If you have any interest, use the contact information listed in the Fishers Police Department news release below:
The Fishers Police Department is hosting its 32th “Citizen’s Police Academy”. The Citizen’s Academy is scheduled for 12 weeks and offers “police style” training to our citizens. Some of the training will include: Crime Prevention/Neighborhood Watch, Bicycle Patrol, Criminal Law, Police Canine, Traffic Stops, Weapons Familiarization, Self Defense, Criminal Investigations, Evidence Collection, and Narcotics. The instructors will be police officers from the Fishers Police Department. Participants in the Citizen’s Academy are eligible complete a ride along with an on- duty Fishers Police Officer. Our spring 2017 Citizen’s Police Academy will be held at the Fishers Police Department every Wednesday night from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. starting March 8, 2016. The academy will be open to individuals who reside or are employed in the Hamilton Southeastern School District. You must be sixteen years old or older to participate in the Citizen’s Academy. It is our goal to build on the relationships we have established in the community. The Citizen’s Academy consists of classroom and hands on training that will allow citizens to interact and become more familiar with the tasks that are assigned to a police officer. The Citizen’s Academy will give community members the opportunity to ask questions about law enforcement and other related activities. Apply online at www.fishers.in.us/police or apply in person at the Fishers Police Department. Applications will be accepted until February 27th. If you have any questions contact Officer Rob Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (317) 595-3300.
The Fishers City Council approved a long list of appointments to various boards, committees and commissions.
One appointment that was delayed was a vacancy on the Economic Development Commission. Council members want to sort out that vacancy in light of some other openings that may occur in other bodies, such as the Fishers Plan Commission.
Below is a list of appointments approved by the city council at the Tuesday night session:
When you consider the fact that Fishers had a population of about 11,000 when I moved here in 1991, spending 20 years working for the local municipal government is quite an accomplishment. These people have been here as the city has grown to nearly 88,000 in population (based on the latest special census).
At the Tuesday night Fishers City Council session, several city employees were recognized for 20 years of service.
Cameron Ellison, Fishers Police Department
Phil Mellencamp and Travis Sichting, Fishers Fire Department
As the Fishers City Council begins its work for 2017, there will be a new member banging the gavel, calling each meeting to order. David George, the longest serving council member dating back to the days of Fishers as a town, will be the body’s president in 2017. Councilman At-Large Todd Zimmerman will serve as vice president. Both votes were unanimous.
Outgoing Council President John Weingardt said “it’s been an absolute pleasure…I’ve had a lot of fun.” Weingardt served two one-year terms as town council president, and has just finished a one-year stint as city council president.
George complimented previous city council presidents Weingardt and Pete Peterson. “I think Fishers is a great place to live,” George said.
In other news from the Tuesday night council session:
–Hamilton County Commissioners Mark Heirbrandt, Christine Altman and Steve Dillinger presented the council with a 2016 award from the Association of Indiana Counties for local cooperation between Fishers and Hamilton County in the State Road 37 project.
–Council approved 1st & 2nd reading for the annexation into the city of Springdale Estates. The homeowners there have all agreed to sell their homes to developer Thompson Thrift, making way for The Yard culinary development. The council is scheduled to vote on the 3rd and final reading February 20th. The earliest the annexation would be effective is March 21st of this year.
–11 acres of land at 7877 East 106th Street was rezoned from industrial to commercial office use, following a unanimous council vote. City staff says this use better fits into the comprehensive plan.
–Approved minor changes to the Nickel Plate District code, which governs development in the downtown area.
–Honored the state champion Fishers Junior High School “We The People” team. They are headed to Washington DC for the national meet. You can donate to the fund allowing the team members travel expenses for the national competition at this link.
Doug Allman is now the Fall Creek Township Trustee after winning the Republican caucus Saturday morning. There are 37 precincts in Fall Creek Township, all but one voted in this caucus. Allman won the vote 21-14 over his opponent Bill Smythe.
“I’m just very pleased to be able to do this job,” Allman said following the vote. “This is what I want to do.”
Smythe said he expected the vote to be closer than the final tally, but knew he had an uphill battle to win the caucus election.
With Allman assuming the trustee post, that creates a vacancy on the Fall Creek Township Board. County Republican Chair Laura Campbell says a caucus will be scheduled to fill that seat within 30 days, as prescribed by state law.
The job of trustee became vacant when Jeff Hern, who was elected to the post, was later elected to the Hamilton County Council. State statutes do not allow Hern to hold both elected positions at the same time.
Tim Swarens is the Opinion Director at the Indianapolis Star and is working on a long-term project aimed at human trafficking. He emphasized the story is a work in progress, but he shared what his reporting has taught him thus far into the project.
The scene was Geist Christian Church in Fishers, before a full crowd of people wanting to know more about human trafficking. They learned a lot by the time the evening was over.
Swarens, after sifting through plenty of cases involving child sex trafficking, came upon one case of a 15-year-old girl from southern Illinois. She had a fight with her father, was upset, met a man on the street who enticed her into going with him. The man put her onto the Internet and sold the services of her and other girls in the summer of 2015. One day, a “customer” demanded a certain sex act the girl refused to perform. She was beaten for saying no.
Why did that incident stick out in Swarens’ mind? “It illustrates an attitude,” he said. “Both the buyer and the seller saw this child as property. She was not a child to them, she was not a human being, she was property and property does not have the right to say no.”
The Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) at Riverside Intermediate School is much closer to the goal of funding a new playground. This proposed facility is described as being “parkour-style,” that will offer specialized exercise and challenge courses.
Indiana University Saxony has approved a $10,000 grant toward funding the $45,000 project.
More details are contained in the news release , which you can read below:
The Riverside Intermediate School community is celebrating a $10,000 grant from Indiana University Health Saxony Hospital. The funds will go toward building a much-needed playground for upper elementary students. The project is spearheaded by the Riverside Intermediate PTO, which is seeking additional sponsorships to underwrite the new $45,000 parkour-style, challenge course and play space.
Riverside Intermediate PTO hopes to greenlight Phase I of construction as soon as it raises the first $25,000 toward the project.
“It’s the first piece of a much larger project that will give our students more options for physical activity. We are so grateful for the generosity of IU Health Saxony Hospital,” said Danielle Chastain, principal of Riverside Intermediate School.
Increasing physical activity among children is essential to the IU Health Saxony Hospital mission. “IU Health Saxony Hospital is thrilled to partner with Riverside Intermediate School to provide a safe and intentional area for the students to play. Part of our mission in Hamilton County is to increase physical activity among residents of all ages, and this was the perfect opportunity to encourage greater physical activity for students at Riverside Intermediate,” said Joy Davis, Customer Experience & Community Engagement Manager for IU Health Suburban Indianapolis Region.
Within Hamilton Southeastern Schools, newer referendum dollars have now been targeted for operational expenses after years of budget cuts. Grant dollars and donations remain an important component of making projects like the Riverside Intermediate parkour playground a reality.
“The playground is also important for education. As an engineer, I believe that hands-on science activities, like those that can be conducted on a playground, promote a much deeper understanding of science concepts,” said Amy Samuelson, the Riverside Intermediate School parent who is spearheading the playground effort.
The annual Fishers State of the City Address is now scheduled for Wednesday, March 15th, as part of a Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Forum Conference Center. Mayor Scott Fadness had originally been scheduled to deliver the speech on February 15th, but asked the Chamber to delay the event.
During a podcast interview recorded January 10th, the mayor told local Fishers residents to “buckle up” for this year’s address.
“If everything falls into place, I think it’s going to be a really exciting speech,” said the mayor. He expects “big, tectonic policy conversations,” with “6 or 7 ideas that will really transform Fishers.”
During the same podcast discussion, I asked Mayor Fadness whether Portillo’s is coming to Fishers. His response? “Yet to be determined.” There have been, and continue to be, discussions between Portillo’s and Fishers, but nothing has been signed. The mayor is aware of Potillo’s ads online asking for manager applications, and calls that “encouraging,” but repeated nothing is yet signed between the city and the restaurant chain.
You can listen to the entire podcast interview at this link.
People working for the City of Fishers will see a new administrator for a key retirement savings plan. The city’s 457 plan is similar to private sector 401(k) plans, allowing city workers retirement savings with tax advantages.
City Controller Oscar Guiterrez told the Board of Public Works and Safety Thursday that Edward Jones will be the new broker handling the city employees plan, but American United Life (AUL) will continue as the insurance company. Edward Jones will be providing services from financial advisers, visiting city facilities to advise employees on investment options for their retirement savings.
Mayor Scott Fadness said he wanted to add an employer match to employee contributions in 2017, but health insurance premiums increased too much. He hopes to add the employer match in future years.
“Although the cost is neutral, the services rendered to the employees to be able to make smart financial decisions for themselves and their families will drastically improve with these additional resources,” Mayor Fadness said.