Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard announced in July that Dr. David Wantz ’84 would serve as interim director for the city’s Department of Public Safety. Wantz currently serves as Vice President for Government and Community Relations and Special Assistant to the President at UIndy and has been actively engaged in public safety efforts in the community, including service on the IMPD Merit Board. He will fulfill this role as a “loaned executive” from the University of Indianapolis, with his appointment beginning on August 1, 2015 and continuing through the end of Mayor Ballard’s term in office.
Wantz is a Baltimore native who has lived in Indianapolis for 30 years. He began his career as a police officer before moving to Indiana and teaching at the Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield. “I am so pleased to be able to bring on someone of David’s caliber to lead the Department of Public Safety through the end of my term as mayor,” said Mayor Ballard. “Our city has come to expect a high level of experience and understanding of community issues from our public safety director, and David is a perfect fit. He brings the right mix of public safety expertise, organizational leadership and a true passion for improving our city’s neighborhoods.”
In addition to police work and community outreach roles, Wantz served for 10 years on the Perry Township Fire Department Merit Board, chaired the Marion County Fire Department Efficiency Commission, served for 10 years on the Law Enforcement Training Board, and supervised the UIndy Police Department. “I am honored to take on the role of interim public safety director, and I look forward to continuing the good work that is already underway in Indianapolis with data-driven law enforcement, engagement in the city’s focus areas and ensuring a seamless transition to the next administration in 2016,” said Wantz. “This city is on the right track with the 360 Coalition, Your Life Matters, and many other supportive community initiatives, and the Department of Public Safety will continue to play a key role in these types of wrap-around programs.”
“UIndy is a university of the city and for the city,” University President Robert Manuel said, “and if our talent and expertise can help fill a need for Indianapolis, we are happy to assist, in the spirit of our longstanding partnership with local government.David’s unique skill set has allowed him to serve the University in a range of roles, and it makes him a strong choice for this interim position in our community.”
“From the moment I arrived here,” said outgoing Public Safety Director Troy Riggs, “David has been supportive of the work done by the Department of Public Safety. He understands our data initiative and the efforts being made in our six focus areas. I think he will do a great job as interim director and I have offered to help him in his transition,”
Wantz is a tenured associate professor of psychology. He has a bachelor of science in sociology from Milligan College and master’s degrees in both business (UIndy) and education (IU). His doctorate is from Indiana University in the field of counseling psychology. Wantz travels widely as an accreditation expert with the Higher Learning Commission and the American Bar Association. He has served on a variety of not-for-profit boards including Spirit & Place and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful.