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Young IMPD officer offers insight: ‘It gets overwhelming’

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SOUTHEAST SIDE — As the first new IMPD recruit class in nearly three years began their training this week, an officer from the last class offered her insight on the road ahead.

For Officer Jenni Asher, any given day brings any new set of problems.

“I do still feel new,” Asher said.

Fox 59 rode along with Asher on her southeast district shift. A member of the November 2011 recruit class, she’s been on the street for a year and a half.

“It is very stressful. It’s all new to you and you’re still trying to take care of everything at home on top of it,” Asher said.

Recruits will spend 26 weeks in the Academy, six months training with a veteran officer – and if they make it, though not all of them will – a year in a probationary period on the street.

Asher sometimes get tips from older officers, but often goes on runs by herself. A lot of them on Tuesday’s shift boiled down to fights between neighbors.

“Everyone’s emotions are so up and down and you never know what you’re going to run into when you get there,” Asher said.

Her advice to new recruits is to be prepared for stress.

“(It’s) really nice to have family and friends that are going to be there to help you and support you, because it gets overwhelming at times,” Asher said.

If it seems crazy to get into the job, when the crime rate in Indianapolis is at its highest, Asher said there’s always a reason you end up in the force. In her case, she followed her father and brother.

Now that she’s been the rookie for a couple of years, she’s glad to see a new group on the way. Not only because she won’t be the new kid, but also to help lighten a load that has gotten heavy out on the streets.

“With as many officers as we’re working with now, it’s really hard for us to go out and be as proactive as we’d like to be. Usually it’s kind of run to run. On a normal day it’s pretty steady,” Asher said.

If all goes as planned, new recruits will be out on the street doing hands-on training by the end of the year.