A review of State Police operations and training is recommending a more standardized curriculum which includes steps to address implicit bias.
Governor Holcomb commissioned the independent review last year in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis.
Chicago-based Hillard Heintze recommends giving the Law Enforcement Training Board more oversight over curriculum and making those lessons consistent across different training academies.
Some recommendations from Hillard Heintze have already been implemented, including body and dashboard cameras for all state troopers in the field. State Police Superintendent Doug Carter says he’s reversed his view of the cameras — once an opponent, he says he’s come to agree with a trooper who told him it’s like having a partner with you on patrol.
Carter says officers sometimes believe they’re presumed guilty in any incident until proven innocent, and says the camera gives them the assurance of an objective record of their actions.
The report says Indiana Law Enforcement Academy training includes four hours of implicit bias training, but says devoting more time to those issues would allow more robust discussion. The firm says police also need to evaluate recruits for implicit bias, and integrate those concerns into training for specific law enforcement scenarios.
Holcomb’s office says the police training academy will reevaluate how it addresses implicit bias. Carter says he hasn’t had a chance yet to read the full 100-page report, but he endorses the concept as one while police need to work continuously to address.
Carter says the department will being an annual report to the public next spring. He says that’s a recommendation he should have thought himself.
The report praises the State Police for making a concerted effort to recruit more women and minorities, and notes police agencies nationwide are having difficulty recruiting more officers in general, much less meeting diversity goals. The report says ISP should continue reviewing its recruitment efforts, and make sure women and minorities have a fair shot not just at joining the forces, but at earning promotions.
The report notes the agency has begun including at least one woman or minority on all promotion interview panels, but says it’s too soon to assess whether that’s making a difference.
The Hillard Heintze report addresses issues related to the training academy and five state law enforcement agencies: the State Police, Capitol Police, Excise Police and enforcement officers for the Department of Natural Resources and the Indiana Gaming Commission.