IMPD budget includes increases for technology, mental health

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department proposed a budget of $323.8 million for 2024, almost an $11 million increase from the 2023 budget.

“This budget takes the next step and adds in-car cameras to our patrol vehicles. It’s an additional transparency tool, we will also add to our public safety program and our automatic license plate reader technology,” said Randal Taylor, chief of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

IMPD is adding scenario-based training to help officers become better equipped to deal with a mental health situation.

“I acknowledge the 7,000 successful involuntary detentions to receive mental health care for those who meet the criteria. What training will be added to prevent deadly outcomes particularly on mental health calls? Even one death is too many,” said Kristin Berry of the Herman Whitfield III Foundation.

Whitfield died while in IMPD custody in 2022 after he experienced a mental health crisis.

IMPD established new partnerships with Adult and Child Mental Health and Aspire of Indiana.

“We talk consistently and constantly in all of our training about ways to mitigate, and help and diffuse issues related to mental health,” said Chris Bailey, assistant chief of police for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

Bailey acknowledged there is more IMPD can do to bolster its relationship with the community, including bringing more female, African-American, and other minority officers into its ranks

“The last three-and-a-half years have potentially been some of the worst we’ve seen in community-police relations, not just here, but across the country since the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, and carried on for a period of time. We’re committed to working on that each and every day,” said Bailey.

The Indianapolis branch of the Fraternal Order of Police gave its full support to the proposed budget. It needs to be approved by the Public Safety Committee and full City County-Council before taking effect.

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