INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 26, 2015)-- Dozens of lower ranking patrol officers, from IMPD, Speedway, Carmel, the Indiana State Police and other state agencies, began attendance at the 10th IMPD Leadership Academy.
"The first week the officers really learn about themselves and how they can relate to others," said Sgt. Aaron Snyder, "then it moves up through the next four weeks building on each week, talking about small groups in the organization and then how they can better the organization."
"It's not so much that sergeants run the world. It's the patrolman. It's the officer on the street is really the one that guides and drives this organization."
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, who retired as a Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel, insisted on upgrading the professionalism of the city's police force.
"When I became the mayor, to be frank, I was a little shocked that there was no leadership training."
"This type of training is to address that sort of thing and give them a presence of mind, a sense of where you are. When I was in the Marine Corps I always talked about orientation, know what situation you're in and I think that's very important and I think this course addresses that."
Changes begun under previous Public Safety Director Frank Straub and Police Chief Paul Ciesielski continue under successors Troy Riggs and Rick Hite who said there are reasons why the federal government doesn't oversee the operation of IMPD like it does in several other trouble American cities.
"I'd like to think that we have been light years ahead of this we've been talking about this issue for several years now and in preparation for a day if it should arise," said Chief Hite, "but I think it's important that they recognize that Indianapolis has something unique here they have visited us, they have talked to us, that have some takeaways that they have learned from us as well."
In addition to the Leadership Academy, Riggs and Hite have launched mid-level supervisor training, a new recruit class schedule and revamped complaint and disciplinary tracking systems.
"You'll see this in ten, 15 years down the road, the principles," said Snyder. "The things that are taught now that we'll put into practice we may not see the benefits of this for ten to 15 years."