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To reduce the officer shortfall, IMPD will shorten the recruitment procedure



Indianapolis, Indiana – Joe Hogsett, the mayor of Indianapolis, has set aside enough money to hire 1,843 metro police officers.

There are 1,554 men and women sporting the IMPD insignia as of right now.

A few years ago, the IMPD’s training academy would twice a year regularly graduate recruit classes of 60 or more officers.

Just 26 candidates are now undergoing training.

Given these sobering figures and the likelihood that dozens or even 100 veteran officers will retire or separate by the end of this year, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) is accelerating its application and recruitment processes to shorten the time it takes to become a police officer and prevent qualified candidates from losing interest or joining another department.

”The IMPD recruitment process will now reopen every four months in order to expedite the application process and increase the number of recruits that come here to the academy,” said Deputy Chief Catherine Cummings. “This modification means that three classes will start here at our academy in 2023.”

Late this summer, the present 26th class will briefly overlap with the 27th class, and over the holidays, the 27th class will briefly overlap with the 28th class.

”With the overlap, it allows us to get recruits in quicker,” said Chief Randal Taylor. “What we’ve noticed in the past is sometimes we would lose officers going to different departments because our process was a little bit longer.”

In addition to modifying the academy’s classrooms to address class overlap, IMPD is also building a scenario village to give officers more relevant real-world training.

“Why can’t we offer a written test, an oral interview board and a physical fitness test in one day instead of waiting for a large class to be graduated in the spring and a large class to be graduated in the winter?” asked Deputy Chief Joshua Barker who finds the expectations of applicants have changed over time to include, ”a very inquisitive attitude, but I think as law enforcement evolves over time, that’s exactly what you want. We are bringing people in the organization who have been raised in the social media culture. They have been raised in the digital phase. There’s more of a focus on trying to understand the why behind what it is we’re doing.”

In order to fill academy slots, the IMPD will not compromise its standards, according to Chief Taylor.

”We’re holding the line on things like felonies, if you’ve got a felony, you’re not gonna work out,” he said. “There are a few misdemeanors that could be considered, maybe minor driving offenses or something along that line. But in reality there are standards, high school diploma or GED, they’re a U.S. citizen, valid driver’s license, 21 years of age, military is always encouraged as long as it was an honorable discharge from the military.”

Though it receives hundreds of applications and only a small percentage of those are chosen to receive a job offer, IMPD is optimistic that it can accept 40 recruits for each of the two remaining classes this year.

”That’s about one in five and that’s about twenty percent and twenty percent will be admitted and ultimately given an offer of employment. I suspect it has to do with background issues,” said Cummings. “It could be a number of things. It could be arrests. As the chief said, we have not lowered that standard and so sometimes we find that.”

To entice prospective officers to apply, IMPD will soon begin a regional television ad campaign in Indianapolis.