INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Indianapolis police continue to search for the gunman who shot up one of the department’s district headquarters this week.
While that shooter remains on the loose, some are now calling for additional security measures to keep officers safe. More than a dozen bullet holes shattered the glass windows when IMPD Northwest District headquarters came under fire this week.
Luckily no officers were injured, but some say upgrading security at police buildings like this one is long overdue.
The head of the police union says the shooting proves more needs to be done to make sure police are not killed on the job.
“We`ve got to be proactive protecting our officers,” said Fraternal Order of Police president Rick Snyder. “Anything is possible in our line of work and we have to be prepared for that.”
In July, Snyder asked city leaders to kick in more than $1 million for additional tactical gear for police including body armor and helmets. He agrees building security now also needs to be addressed.
“What we`re asking for is not pie in the sky. We’re not trying to get stuff we don`t need. We have officers dying throughout the country and we can prevent that,” said Snyder.
The front of the Northwest District headquarters is largely glass windows with no security cameras on the building.
Southwest District is a converted school with lots of small windows but no cameras outside.
Southeast headquarters in Fountain Square also no cameras out front.
Only North District in Washington Park has obvious cameras trained on the front and sides of the building.
At a press conference Wednesday, chief Troy Riggs says security concerns are not being ignored.
“A few months ago we started doing an overview of all our facilities. It’s what we call target hardening, what we need to do to make our facilities safer. Some changes have been made and others are in the works,” said Riggs.
Snyder says the statehouse also needs to take action by passing tougher criminal laws against anyone who attacks police. He says the shooting this week proves the importance of that change.
”The laws that will be able to be applied to the person that did this will be very limited compared to what occurred here,” said Snyder.
Several lawmakers have promised to make tougher laws for those who attack police a top priority in the next session, but so far no one with the city has said for sure how any safety improvements or added security will be paid for.