Larger police recruit classes could bring more officers on board faster

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By: Liz Gelardi

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 14, 2014) - The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department could be poised to hire more officers than anticipated next year. Mayor Greg Ballard's public safety plan called for hiring officers through 2018 with 90 being hired next year. Officials with the Department of Public Safety said they are considering expanding recruit classes to hire more officers in the beginning of that time frame.

The City-County Council passed the budget and a public safety tax allowing for hundreds of additional officers.

"It’s reasonable that they would be asking what our capacity would be and there would be the option of front loading and doing bigger recruit classes upfront." said Val Washington, Deputy Director for the Department of Public Safety.

Val Washington, Deputy Director for the Department of Public Safety, explains bringing more officers on board in the beginning of a multi-year hiring process will help fill in gaps caused by attrition. It will also bring relief to current officers much faster. Typical police training takes a year and a half so the sooner these officers start training, the sooner they can hit the streets.

"So it kind of is in our best interest from just a training standpoint to get some front loading in if that’s possible," said Washington.

The Department of Public Safety believes it can accommodate two recruit classes a year with up to 70 candidates in each classes. Additionally, some candidates with prior law enforcement experience could be fast tracked through the program.

"What we’re asking is with these new additional funds and resources could we actually get to the same goal, the same objective of these hundreds of additional officers in a tighter time frame," said Rick Snyder, Vice President of FOP Lodge #86.

Public Safety Officials said they would like to see IMPD staffing levels reach at least 1,700 sworn officers.