INDIANAPOLIS — After weeks of protests this summer following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Dreasjon Reed in Indianapolis, community members marched for weeks pushing for change.
Those demonstrating called for social and racial justice.
Since then, IMPD has made changes including updating the department’s use-of-force policy.
In a statement to WRTV, Chief Randal Taylor said “From working to improve diversity in recruiting, to the return to and subsequent expansion of a community-based beat policing model, to recent policy changes such as banning the dangerous practice of no-knock warrants and updating the department’s use of force policy – we are dedicated to serving in the ways our community asks of us.”
In October, the Indianapolis City-County Council adopted a proposal which replaces IMPD’s General Orders Committee, which was made up of three law enforcement officers and replaced it with a General Orders Board. The new board will now include four civilian appointees as well.
“We think it’s a huge step forward, because the city of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana, more broadly, are pretty much doing something that hasn’t been done across the country.” Reverend Shonda Nicole Gladden said.
Gladden is part of Faith in Indiana. The group worked with councilors to develop the new proposal. The General Orders Board will handle all policy decisions for IMPD.
“Having eyes as well as a voice on the general orders committee is critically important,” Gladden said. “I believe the people will trust more because they will see more and they will be able to say more on how police engage with our community.”
Jessica Louise with Indy 10 Black Lives Matter also recognizes it’s a step in the right direction, but says more work needs to be done. “The current relationship needs work,” Louise said. “They also elected to increase IMPD’s budget to $261 million. We would rather see that money go towards community efforts like feeding and housing the community.”
Indy 10 Black Lives Matter’s current agenda includes defunding and demilitarizing IMPD.
In his statement to WRTV Chief Taylor said, “Over the last several years, as the city has invested millions in community-based efforts to improve the health and safety of our neighborhoods, IMPD has remained focused on building bridges of trust with residents and developing the kinds of police-neighborhood partnerships that reduce violence.”
Chief Taylor says IMPD officers are working every day to address violence and build stronger relationships with our neighbors and the department’s goal is continue moving toward the safer and more united city that we know Indianapolis can be.