IMPD Chief Bryan Roach makes command staff appointments

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Bryan Roach announced command staff changes and the creation of a new Performance and Policy Division. An appointment ceremony was held in the Chief’s Conference Room this morning. With these changes, the IMPD Command Staff becomes one of the most diverse in the department’s history.

Deputy Chief Chad Knecht retires
After 28 years of service to the people of Indianapolis, Deputy Chief Chad Knecht retired from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. Knecht served as a street patrolman, narcotics investigator, Safe Streets Task Force Commander, on the SWAT Team, and as SWAT Commander.  He led men and women of the IMPD as Major of the Homeland Security Bureau, East District Commander, Downtown District Commander, Chief of Staff, and most recently as Deputy Chief of Operations.

“Deputy Chief Knecht’s years of service with the department were only paralleled by his commitment, tenacity and dedication to the women and men of the IMPD and the citizens we serve. If his time on the force demonstrates anything, it is that today’s rank and file are the future of our department – the next generation of leaders who will shape the IMPD over the years to come,” said Chief Roach.

Josh Barker appointed Deputy Chief of Operations
North District Commander Josh Barker will serve as the new Deputy Chief of the Operations Division. Josh Barker has served with the IMPD for 16 years, working up the ranks as East District Patrol Officer, Patrol Sergeant in Northwest District, Detective Sergeant in the Criminal Gang Unit, Executive Officer to the North District Commander and Community Relations Supervisor. 

Barker earned the rank of Lieutenant and was appointed Commander of North District in 2017. As North District Commander, he focused on building stronger relationships between officers and neighborhoods, and developing partnerships with faith and community leaders aimed at reducing violence. 

Michael Spears appointed Deputy Chief of Performance and Policy 
Southwest District Commander Michael Spears will serve as Deputy Chief of a new Performance and Policy Division. The division will oversee accountability processes such as use of force and pursuit reviews, as well as coordinate evaluations of operational policies and training practices. Many of these oversight measures result from a series of policing reforms announced by Mayor Joe Hogsett and Chief Roach last year.

A 36-year veteran, Deputy Chief Spears served in the Administration Division as well as in South, East, and Southwest Districts. He held a number of research and planning roles as he worked up the ranks, and has received accolades for his bravery and contributions to cooperate law enforcement. He was Chief of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department from 2005-2010. 

District commander appointments

  • Lieutenant Michael Wolley has been appointed Commander of North District. Wolley, who most recently led the Public Affairs Office, will continue the North District philosophy of policing alongside the community.
  • Lieutenant Susan Hill, formerly Major of the Professional Standards Division, will serve as the Commander of Southwest District. 

“With this command staff in place, we will continue our efforts to remove illegally-possessed firearms from our neighborhoods and target those who perpetuate violence,” said Chief Roach. “When our leadership better reflects the community, and when we are more accountable to the community, we build bridges of trust and credibility with residents. We can make our neighborhoods safer and stronger when community and police work together.”

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 WYRZ and Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at

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