INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 20, 2014)– After a virtual recruitment drought that swore in just one class of less than two dozen new police officers in five years, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) is poised to make conditional offers to 200 police recruits this week.
35% of them are minorities as the department seeks to create a workforce that more closely resembles the city it protects.
“There are qualified blacks in the community,” Lt. Brownie Coleman told a city county council committee last week. “You just have to do a better job of recruiting them.”
The letter of conditional acceptance come as the Department of Public Safety has released a Hiring and Promotions Efficiency Team Report that has taken most of the last year to complete.
The report charts the gradual decline in minority and overall recruitment for IMPD and the Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD) and proposals to fill future recruit classes with more minority firefighters and police officers.
“We’re having a hard time when we’re talking to people about being police officers to even get them to apply for the position,” said Rev. Charles Harrison of the Ten Point Coalition.
He adds that community complaints against IMPD are falling and the department’s reputation is improved.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Indianapolis’ population was 59% white, 28% black and nine percent Hispanic.
IMPD and IFD have workforces that are overwhelmingly white with just 16% minorities.
The report commissioned by Public Safety Director Troy Riggs finds many veteran minority firefighters and police officers hired decades ago are retiring and they haven’t been replaced by officers of any race.
Riggs’ Efficiency Team calls for dedicated recruitment officers, more recruitment spending, targeting of motivated college and high school athletes and a Career Development Pathway.
“There’s something about the nature of the beast that says when you hear the screams of a community, real men and women step up and take the challenge and the job and that’s what we’re looking for,” said IMPD Chief Rick Hite.
Indianapolis’ police and fire departments also became less diverse as IMPD absorb the Marion County Sheriff’s department and several township fire departments were consolidated into IFD.
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