City's new director will review IMPD recruitment, training - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

City's new director will review IMPD recruitment, training

Updated:
Rick Hite, deputy director of the Department of Public Safety Rick Hite, deputy director of the Department of Public Safety

Jeremy Brilliant/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - News of IMPD Officer David Bisard's arrest comes on the same day the public safety director announced a new initiative to improve policies and training at IMPD.

A Metro Police officer fired for using excessive force; another facing felony charges for firing a gun during a domestic dispute and now the revelation that a K-9 officer was drunk on duty when he caused a fatal accident. Three separate incidents share one common thread. Officials say they all could have been prevented.

"We must take action for that, even though at its root it is an individual decision, I really believe we need to take a look at ourselves at the leadership level and the peer level," said Mayor Greg Ballard.

To do that, the Department of Public Safety has added a new deputy director who will review IMPD recruitment and training. His introduction was overshadowed by the news of an officer facing criminal charges, which he sees as an opportunity.

"This is a good department. I just think we need to tweak some things and infuse some best practices that we've learned," said Rick Hite, deputy director of the Department of Public Safety.

Helping in the tweaking process will be representatives of the community.

"We have asked members of our community to become members of a public safety advisory board," said Public Safety Director Frank Straub.

The eight-member volunteer board was formed in light of the Brandon Johnson excessive force case, but now with an additional two officers under fire, it has even more relevance. The board includes City-County Councilor Ben Hunter.

"Public perception is a tough thing to deal with but it also drives change," he said.

Hunter, who is also the Butler University Police Chief and a former Indianapolis police officer, hopes the board can influence IMPD policies.

"It can't be talk. An advisory board task force, this has to have tangible benefits," he said.

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