Top law enforcement officials in Indiana are pushing back against new police reforms championed by Mayor Joe Hogsett and Indianapolis police leadership.
The IndyStar reported Friday that Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas Carter outlined his concerns in a letter to IMPD Chief Randal Taylor this week. Carter is chairperson of the Law Enforcement Training Board, which oversees the state’s biggest police academy and carries some level of authority over police training.
At issue is whether IMPD has the authority to change its own training procedures in the first place. Those changes include a decision to ban all uses of police chokeholds.
Carter outlined several concerning areas about IMPD’s new training, which he said the department already has begun without proper approval from the board.
But the Hogsett administration and IMPD leadership argue that their new policies adhere to what many other major police departments are doing as they ‘modernize’ practices.
“The decision made by Mayor Hogsett and Chief Taylor to update the city’s use-of-force policy has generated engagement and support from a broad coalition of Indianapolis residents, who have demonstrated an incredible willingness to work with IMPD and our hardworking police officers to improve our criminal justice system,” Hogsett spokeswoman Taylor Schaffer said in a statement. “We are also aware it has generated some criticism from those inside — and outside — our community who oppose efforts to bring national best practices to Indiana.”
In August, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced he would order a third-party review of all training curriculum at the state academy, which would include state police training.
WIBC host Tony Katz voiced concern over the increased risk to police officers’ safety when changes to police training procedures are implemented for political reasons.
“The Hogsett administration is saying this is fine, the City-County Council is saying we need less force, and you have members of the council saying we need civilians to be involved in changes to police procedures, which would lead to decision-making by people who are not experienced in law enforcement and are driven by a political agenda. And that puts officers’ lives at risk.
“I bring up the issue of civilian input because it goes against a theory that you often hear in the world of education. In the world of education, you often hear groups say that parents should not have a say in their child’s education; we have to listen to the experts. In science, we have to listen to the experts. Medicine, we have to listen to the experts… But not in policing. I want them to square the circle on that.”
Click below to hear Tony’s full commentary.