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PLAINFIELD, Ind. – As Indiana’s new police reform law takes effect, the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy is working on plans to use increased state funding to enhance training for officers.

The legislation allocates $70 million in state funds for the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, which trains roughly 65% of the state’s officers, according to executive director Tim Horty.

The Academy has plans for new construction and additional instructors to run more scenario-based training, Horty said.

“One of the premiere improvements is going to be an emergency vehicle operations track that will also include a scenario-based training village,” he explained.

It could be a few more years before construction is complete, but some of the classes will be rolled out over the next few months, Horty said.

“Our research shows that these officers retain that training a lot longer when we have an opportunity to re-enact those kinds of situations,” Horty said.

De-escalation training will also be required under the new law. The state’s Law Enforcement Training Board is working to set the standards for that training, Horty said.

“Particularly in law enforcement – to them that much is given, much is expected,” said Deputy Chief Gary Woodruff of the Lawrence Police Department.

Deputy Chief Woodruff said his team has had some of the new statewide requirements in place for years, including a ban on chokeholds and reviews of officer candidates’ previous employment records.

Woodruff said he is glad all departments will now have these same standards.

“It standardizes the expectations, and it does facilitate some things to make it easier to share information back and forth,” he said.

The new law also lowers the burden of proof for the Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board to decertify an officer for misconduct.