IMPD officers call for more gear in wake of Ft. Lauderdale shooting

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- In the aftermath of the deadly Ft. Lauderdale airport shooting, Indianapolis police union leaders are renewing their calls to get the city’s officers better equipped.

In a tweet Sunday, Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police President Rick Snyder says the equipment used by Ft. Lauderdale officers is the same gear Indianapolis officers have been asking to get for months. Snyder says today there’s nothing lacking in the training IMPD officers get, but he says those officers need better equipment like the kind used by Ft. Lauderdale first responders. Those things include trauma kits, ballistic helmets and better body armor.

“Every day we wait is another day that’s possible, just like we saw in Ft. Lauderdale, where the need for this equipment could exist,” said Snyder.

Thankfully, Indianapolis hasn’t had an incident like Ft. Lauderdale or another mass shooting, but Snyder says the city’s own numbers show why the need is so great.

“In 2009, five IMPD officers were fired upon,” said Snyder, “by 2014, that number had increased to 37. And since 2012, 89 IMPD police officers have been assaulted by firearms, and 15 have been shot.”

Two of those shot were fatal.

Back in July, the Indianapolis FOP called on city leaders to enact the FOP’s “Call to Action” plan, which includes funding for more gear. Snyder says that funding was not included as part of the city’s 2017 budget but says it can still be added as an additional allocation this year.

“I think the will is there, I think the commitment is there, we just need to bring our elected officials together,” said Snyder, “set politics and partisanship to the side and get this done.”

Snyder says because IMPD would be a big client, equipping around 1700 officers, that makes negotiating with vendors easier. He thinks this would cost the city less than $1 million.

We did reach out to Mayor Hogsett’s office Sunday  for comment, but so far haven’t gotten a response.