INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board is putting stricter rules in place when it comes to governing how and when police officers engage in pursuits.
“It all has to do with protection of the community,” said Timothy Horty, executive director of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.
The law enforcement training board’s uniform statewide policy went into effect at the start of the year, establishing minimum standards for law enforcement agencies statewide. The policy outlines how and when police officers can engage in pursuits.
“The overall concept is: does the outcome outweigh the consequences?” Horty said. “That’s the million-dollar question that police officers and administrators have to make that determination.”
New factors will be considered — like the level of danger posed by the fleeing driver and traffic conditions.
“How egregious is the offense?” Horty asked. “Is the offense worth putting folk in danger?”
Most agencies had their own policies, but the new rules provide uniform guidance throughout the state.
“Each agency can make their own policy and make them more stringent,” Horty said.
IMPD isn’t changing its policy because it was already more restrictive than the policy the law enforcement training board passed.
“We’re always reviewing the policy to see if we need to make any changes, but we don’t need to make any changes based on the policy enacted earlier this week,” Lt. Shane Foley said.
The existing policy calls for internal affairs to investigate following any IMPD pursuit.
Creators of the uniform policy hope this will ensure a safer community.
“I think it helps protects the officers. It sets a minimum standard,” Horty said. “It also protects the citizen because it draws to the attention of the officer that he or she always has to operate with due regard.”