Report urges greater diversity for Indiana State Police

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An external review of Indiana’s state police agencies found they need to bolster the recruitment and promotion of minority and female officers and increase training about racial bias.

The findings are part of a 100-page report released Monday that was commissioned by Gov. Eric Holcomb following demonstrations across the country and state last year protesting the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The consulting firm Hillard Heintze acknowledged attempts by Indiana State Police to recruit more diverse officer candidates, while citing that white men made up more than 80% of promotions and reassignments during 2018-20.

One agency strategy of sending white officers to barbershops and restaurants in predominately Black communities to talk about the job was viewed as “offensive or patronizing” by some Black ISP officers, according to the report.

“The ISP provides its members with cultural awareness education and training taught by command-level personnel, demonstrating its importance to the organization. However, this training does not include a discussion of implicit bias or actions officers could take to reduce the influence of implicit bias when interacting with their colleagues and community members,” the study said.

Holcomb, a Republican, said in a statement that the report, which also reviewed the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, state excise police and other state-run police agencies, was part of a commitment to “fostering an inclusive and equitable environment.”

“I will continue to do my part to assure the citizens of Indiana that law enforcement officers are operating according to the highest standards,” Holcomb said.

Some of the report’s recommended changes have rolled out throughout the consulting firm’s yearlong review process, including the distribution of body cameras to front-line state troopers.

The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus argued Holcomb wasn’t going far enough with police reforms last year, but state Rep. Robin Shackleford, the group’s chairwoman, said she looked forward to implementation of the report’s recommendations.

“I’d like to thank Gov. Holcomb for initiating this third-party review as a response to IBLC and community outcry,” said Shackleford, an Indianapolis Democrat. “It is encouraging to see many of the social justice initiatives that the IBLC has been advocating for, such as the use of body cameras and implicit bias training, be reaffirmed in Hillard Heintze’s review.”

The report also cited a lack of diversity among instructors at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, which trains most police officers for local departments.

In response, academy leaders said officials are still reviewing the report but “welcome the opportunity to improve and standardize law enforcement training around the state and look forward to the challenge.”

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7 thoughts on “Report urges greater diversity for Indiana State Police

  1. Since multiple studies from Harvard on down have shown implicit bias training is totally worthless, the fact that this study recommends it sort of undermines its own credibility as a guide for the state police.

  2. The statement ” while citing that white men made up more than 80% of promotions and reassignments during 2018-20.” is misleading/worthless. What was the demographics of the entire group eligible for promotions and reassignments during the same period? I can assume it wasn’t 80% white males, but that is an assumption. Why is this statement made without the complete picture being presented? Going for shock value?

  3. So sick of this stuff. Is there really a huge backlog of non-white individuals who are clamoring for these promotions, or who even are qualified for them? I seriously doubt it.

    1. Maybe there is. How would you know? Are you an expert on the demographic makeup of the ISP? I seriously doubt it.

  4. Unconscious bias exists with everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender identity. And while race has been highlighted, unconscious bias relates to many aspects.

    A diverse workforce in all aspects is desirable. But it is equally important that each individual is hired and retained based on skills and background, not just to meet a specific quota. The degree to which diversity is represented will vary by location.

    However, workplace bias is not new but documented cases of bias based on race, ethnicity and gender that has unfairly affected qualified employees in assignments, opportunities, and advancement must be ended.

    First and foremost, opportunities for all must be manifested in early learning and education. Appropriate education and training options should be expanded to include community colleges, training institutes, and internships in addition to the the high school-university-graduate school track. For law enforcement, should more emphasis be placed on psychological evaluations as a criterion for hiring in addition to education and physical condition.

    In any case, sound safety and security enforcement is necessary at state and local levels. Staff should be adequately funded and appropriately trained. A key aspect of training is understanding diverse communities, including the rich and entitled, the poor of any race, urban and rural, intellectually disadvantaged, and mentally ill. And respect must be bilateral between police and communities.

  5. Democrat stupidity is astounding. Quick scan of today’s headlines: reward for gas station attendant shot, 13 year old broke in a house and killed a 69 yr old, deadly fight, and a criminal in Laf who murdered a pizza guy has her family kicked out of court for being racist and threatening the jury. This is ONE MORNING’s headlines.
    My favorite is Mayor Pothole swinging into immediate action when a cop is mean to a vagrant criminal on the circle.
    If Democrats put a fraction of their passion into prosecuting actual criminals instead of woke stupidity, we might actually see a difference.