INDIANAPOLIS — A Boone County judge has ruled that the Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board (ILETB) must allow Marion County Sheriff's Deputies to train at its Plainfield academy.
Marion County Sheriff Kerry J. Forestal sued the board in 2021 after it rejected the office's proposals to allow deputies to train at its Plainfield academy.
The sheriff's office says its deputies have not been allowed to attend ILEA sincethe Indianapolis Police Department merged with the law enforcement division of the Marion County Sheriff's Office in 2007. Before the merger, around 30-40 MCSO deputies attended ILEA each year.
The IELTB claimed the sheriff only has certain powers, such as managing the jail and protecting the courts.
The sheriff's side argued that the consolidation reserved those responsibilities for deputies but did not remove the law enforcement responsibilities for the department.
WRTV spoke to Sheriff Forestal in 2021.
"What's different in Marion County than the other 91 counties, I don't know ... I'm just puzzled," Forestal told us. "I'm trying to say I believe in what you're doing, let us be part of that."
John G. Baker, Senior Judge of the Indiana Court of Appeals, ruled Tuesday that the Board is still responsible for providing training to sheriff's deputies who are law enforcement officers.
That includes de-escalation training, which is provided for deputies in Indiana's other 91 counties.
The MSCO released the following statement after the decision Wednesday.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office appreciates the written decision from John G. Baker, Senior Judge of the Indiana Court of Appeals, who was sitting as Special Judge in Boone County, Indiana. Judge Baker’s decision addresses clearly and succinctly any statutory construction ambiguity on the legal status of Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies. (See attached Order.) The Marion County Sheriff’s Office looks forward to working with the Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board to ensure that all Indiana law enforcement officers meet the high standards expected by the Indiana General Assembly, and Governor Eric Holcomb, as prescribed by the provisions of HEA 1006 (2021).
Tim Horty, executive director of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, tells WRTV the Board is aware of the ruling and they are consulting with the Attorney General’s Office to determine next steps.