EXCLUSIVE: In a groundbreaking interview, a top leader of the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) came to the African-American community to open lines of community and make the case that public safety and crime fighting are being compromised by a failure of the City to put resources and dollars behind the city/county’s police. Rick Snyder, First Vice-President of FOP Lodge 86, which represents IMPD officers (and other local police officers) appeared on Afternoons with Amos with some unsettling information. Snyder contents that right now 40% of the nearly 1,600 sworn officers in IMPD are eligible to retire. Snyder says the average age of IMPD officers is 43. More stunning, less than 120 IMPD officers are under the age of 30. Snyder contents that years of neglect of law enforcement under former Mayor Bart Peterson and more recently under Mayor Greg Ballard have led to serious shortages of police on the streets. Snyder contents Indianapolis needs 700 more officers just to bring the city up to proper levels. Snyder indicated that the FOP is not opposed to increasing officer recruitment and that IMPD does need to be more aggressive in the hiring and promotion of minority officers. Snyder maintains that the city leaders and the public must make hard decisions to allocate the dollars necessary to put enough police on the streets to do adequate community police; to end officers responding from run to run and not doing real crime fighting. Snyder told Amos and listeners that its critical that the city create a real :strategic plan” for policing and then allocate the dollars to do it. That could mean a tax increase and Snyder maintains that if a tax increase for for “the specific purpose” of law enforcement, residents of Indianapolis would approve that. Snyder took calls from listeners on a wide range of subjects concerning FOP policies and procedures. Click the Arrows to Hear Amos’ Interview with Rick Snyder of the FOP. Part 1 Runs 39 Minutes. Part 2 Runs 27 Minutes. ©2013 WTLC/Radio One.