By Russ McQuaid
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Sept. 25, 2014)-- The first probationary officers of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's (IMPD) summer recruit class are taking runs under the supervision of veteran patrolmen in an attempt to help solve the manpower crisis that has plagued the department.
Ten of the 53 recruits who have previous police experience are already paired up with field training officers.
"We'll talk about it as we're going there, he'll ask me, 'What are your plans on this call?', said Probationary Officer Jeremy Torres. "Since I'm in plainclothes now he'll let me do my thing, he'll let me handle the investigation how I feel I should handle it. Afterwards he'll talk about it, how I could've handled it better, things he would've done, things that he liked that I did."
Officer Steven Donahue rides shotgun while Torres handles most of the work.
"You gotta let them feel the ground and if they get too far out you gotta real them back in," said Donahue. "You can tell he's got prior experience with how well he picks it up and how he communicates with people."
Torres spent a year on the Noblesville police force where his experience, and growing up with a dad and uncle patrolling Indianapolis streets, paid off when he applied for IMPD's academy.
"It's never easy going through a police academy. It's my second one," said Torres. "I went in thinking how hard could the second time be but it's just as hard. They really push you physically mentally. They want the best IMPD officers they can out on the street making sure we're gonna be the best."
"They put a high emphasis on having a high moral character and I think that's important especially when you call all the things in the news. They really stress not only being physically fit cops and making the right decisions but doing the right things when no one is looking."
IMPD is accepting applications through Tuesday night online here.
Approximately 25 recruits will be invited to join the next academy class.
IMPD's manpower strength hovers at approximately 1,500, though a recent study commission suggested the department needs about 300 more officers to safely patrol the city.