INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 9, 2015)– Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Police Chief Rick Hite appeared on CNN on Thursday morning, talking about transparency and community policing, in the wake of murder charges filed against a South Carolina officer for shooting an unarmed black man. The cable news appearance for Hite caps off a week of Indy’s public safety leaders in the national spotlight.
“We have to have a fair and impartial police department. We taken an oath to do it,” Hite told CNN’s John Berman.
On that national stage, Hite talked about the importance of openness in the light of the deadly police-involved shooting in North Charleston, South Carolina. Hite said in any officer-involved shooting investigation transparency is critical.
“Here in Indianapolis, again, we have our prosecutors respond to many of our police action shootings to make sure it’s fair and impartial,” he said.
Hite’s comments follow a Wednesday meeting at the White House with Public Safety Director Troy Riggs and other public safety agencies from across the country.
“What they liked was the willingness of us to use data and share it with the public quickly and to ask for the public’s assistance,” said Troy Riggs, Public Safety Director.
National leaders had interest into Indy’s use of crime data, making it publicly available, and the overall strategy of the Department of Public Safety in its approach to crime fighting.
“We have opportunities to do community conversations. We talk about strategies, our public safety director and I go around the community having town hall meetings trying to talk about issues before they happen so that when we do have these issues, we can have an open dialogue and walk away with some real truths,” said Hite.
Hite told CNN video should be used as a tool to assess both an officer’s actions and the actions of any person involved in a police incident.
IMPD is testing 12 body cameras in a pilot program over the past few months.
“It is important to remove the mystique of policing and transparency in our country,” Hite said.