IMPD promotions boost minority numbers, put more supervisors on streets

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INDIANPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 3, 2013)– Two dozen Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officers have been waiting two years since they took the last promotions test to learn if they would be moving up in the ranks.

The IMPD Merit Board has taken the advice of Police Chief Rick Hite and approved a list of promotions to break a logjam lower down in the ranks and put additional supervisors on the streets.

“Recommended that we had 21 sound police officers promoted to sergeant and three sergeants promoted to lieutenant,” said Hite. “This is the next class of leadership at IMPD. Hopefully one will be becoming chief in the future but it also says we’re serious about this mission of supervision in the street and the first line supervisor is very important to that mission.”

Promotions were delayed for two years due to budget constraints and lawsuits. Last year IMPD promoted three officers to sergeant.

Budget reviews by Public Safety Director Troy Riggs and improved management by Hite in his first full year as chief have revealed savings that paid for promotions and the first recruit class in three years.

IMPD has 1536 sworn officers. It expects to lose 126 to attrition in the next three years but replace them with 180 new recruits.

Still, IMPD is losing the experience of veteran officers. A disproportionate number of them are minority officers who were hired in the 1980s and 1990s. Three of the new sergeants are black.

“I think its a small beginning but it is a beginning,” said Merit Board member Rev. Stephen Clay, “as we expand this process, we look for these numbers to expand as well.

“I think it was stagnate for a long time. I think what we have seen under Director Riggs is some movement toward a greater sense of professionalism, a greater sense of accountability under Chief Hite and a greater sense of expectation.”

Recent statistics show the overall violent crime rate is down 3.54% compared to a year ago, even though the murder and robbery rates are up.