INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – As temperatures continue to hang around in the 90s, those who are stuck outdoors can quickly feel the effects of the excessive heat. That’s why the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is now stepping in to make sure those that are most vulnerable get some relief.
Members of IMPD’s Homeless and Behavioral Health Units are spending the heatwave checking in on the homeless and less fortunate so they don’t become victims of the heat. Officers spend hours handing out cold water and connecting people with places where they can cool down.
“Most of the homeless are really good about ‘hey it’s too hot, I’m going to find a cooling station, I’m going to get in the mall, I’m going to go down to the library and get cool.’ But we’ve had situations where we’ve had to call IFD and EMS and we’ve had to actually carry guys out of the camps because they’re already in a bad situation,” Officer Phil Smiley said.
Experts say consecutive days of high heat can take a big toll on the body and the homeless are already at a disadvantage having no shelter or air conditioning.
“It’s just nice to be able to help people and make sure everybody is okay and we’re going to come back and check on them tomorrow so we should be good,” Officer Robyn Frazier said
The officer says they check on the homeless camps at least twice a week to make sure those who live in them are alright. They add that they will continue making wellness checks on the homeless throughout the rest of the weekend, including handing out bottles of water to help keep those out on the streets cool.
“We want to make sure they’re safe, that they’re getting hydrated, that they’re not suffering from heat stroke or heat exhaustion symptoms,” Smiley said.