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2013 Forty Under 40: Kendale Adams

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Adams intends to continue serving with 100 Black Men and New Horizons Church. At work, “taking a step forward and ensuring I step into leadership to influence others to give back is probably the direction I would like to go.”

Age: 39

Public Information Officer,  Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department

As a North Central High School senior, Kendale Adams went through a 100 Black Men mentoring program that paired him with a police officer. By his senior year at Ball State University, he’d already begun the process of joining the Indianapolis Police Department.

Three months after graduation, he was in the police academy, and 15 years later he’s still an IMPD officer.

“It’s a great position,” he said of his current job as a public information officer. “I really enjoy being one of the faces of the department and showing the diversity of the department.”

Adams started with the Indianapolis force in 1997 in the West District and developed a strong affinity for community policing. He had “a heavy presence” in the Weed & Seed Program, a federal grant initiative designed to weed out the most violent criminals in designated neighborhoods while “seeding” the area with social and economic revitalization.

In his first year, Adams was nominated for rookie of the year. In his second year, he was named officer of the year for the West District. During his fifth year, he was on the TV show “Cops.”

“I had a great start,” he said.

Over the years, Adams moved around the department, serving as a neighborhood resource officer (“community policing on steroids,” he calls it) and in the O.K. (Our Kids) program, which focuses officers’ attention on at-risk youth. In 2008, he got married and moved to the North District, where he served for three years before getting into public information.

All the while, Adams has been active with 100 Black Men and its 16-week Beautillion Militaire—the same mentoring program that gave him his start.

“It’s important for me to give back,” said the father of two [soon three], “because this really helped spur my career path when I was in high school.”•

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