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Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department starts a hiring drive as academy enrollment declines



Indianapolis, Indiana – This week, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) launched the “Why We Serve” campaign to persuade prospective police officers and recruits from the Midwest to go to Indianapolis.

“This happens a week after our City-County Council approved one of the highest wages for new recruits in the entire Midwest,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “That amounts to nearly $62,000 in an officer’s first year, putting us at a 55% increase since 2015. Add to that a $10,000 signing bonus.”

IMPD is permitted to have 1,842 officers on staff. Just a few more than 1,600 men and women have IMPD badges as of Monday.

“It’s no secret, we’re a little over 200 officers down,” said IMPD Chief Randal Taylor. “We’d really like to make that impact.”

The current class of new officers at the IMPD Academy is less than half the size it usually is, with only 23 recruits present.

”That’s where our emphasis will be is getting them more officers on those streets and we’ve got 23 in the academy right now that will be coming out on the road in a relatively short period of time and that’s where they will go,” said Taylor. ”Overtime is at a high level right now. Fortunately, our officers that are working have been taking that overtime and keeping the streets safe but of course, we would like to get 200 officers in there so we could give them some relief.”

Due to the advanced years of service of many officers and the veterans’ growing reluctance to either continue serving in the city or leave the profession completely, retirements and separations at IMPD have intensified recently.

As of Monday, IMPD had hired 70 new employees this year compared to 122 retirements and separations.

”The challenge here in Indianapolis has been one of the dangers of the profession and in some instances the public’s reaction to what has occurred,” said Hogsett who also reflected on the public backlash across the country to policing following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020. ”IMPD doesn’t deserve to be put in that category but unfortunately in policing generally there’s a measure of skepticism. That’s why we’re being very affirmative, positive, and outward-facing in this campaign.”

One of the officers who will be highlighted in the IMPD campaign is Detective Desiree Biggers. IMPD offers greater prospects for faster progression and specialist assignments than a smaller department.

”It has also allowed me to serve and make a difference in the city that I know and love,” she said.

One of the billboards slated for West 16th Street will target recruits who speak Spanish.

”IMPD is also seeking to build a force that better reflects our city, a city that is 46% racial and ethnic minority, a city that is 52% female,” said Hogsett.

The City will invest about $1 million in improved recruitment efforts in the upcoming year.

All residents who satisfy the department’s initial standards are urged to submit an online application via IMPD.