Nearly 70 IMPD recruits sworn in Monday
Help is on the way to keep neighborhoods safer in the Circle City, as IMPD welcomes nearly 60 new recruits to the streets.
It is the first new recruit class since 2011 and has been a long time coming for the department. Crime typically spikes a little more during the summer months when the weather gets hotter.
The new officers are hitting the streets, joining experience counterparts who have dealt with a lot of violence so far this year. IMPD homicide detectives have had to investigate 62 murders in the first five months of 2014. Some of those cases have been double, triple and even quadruple murders, unlike more recent years.
There are also a lot more people carrying guns illegally in Indianapolis, including felons who have no business owning firearms.
As mother of three MacKenzie Diouf held down the fort in their south Indianapolis home, her husband of ten years took an oath of office to protect and serve.
Babacar Diouf is one of the new recruits for Metro Police.
"He really likes working out in the community and, of course, there is that worry, because there is a lot of danger in it," Mackenzie said.
It is the police officers who patrol the streets who are usually first on the scene and first in the face of danger. That takes a special person.
"You are putting your life at risk for people you don't know even and he is like that," she said.
"There is crime out there and everybody behind me took that oath to be proactive, to reduce the possibility of crime," Ofc. Babacar Diouf.
So MacKenzie hopes wherever her husband patrols, people will help, by serving as his eyes and ears to reduce crime.
"He is out there to protect you, so please do everything you can to keep him safe," she said.
Supervisors and field training officers with IMPD believe the new recruits are ready and up for the challenge.
"I know our city is going through a really rough time with violence and different things and I know the kids are needing people to look up to and I'm hoping to take what I had with IPS out here on IMPD to the streets of Indianapolis," said recruit Alisha Bernhardt.
"We're excited to have this next phase move forward. I know they're excited. This has been a long journey for them and we're excited that we'll have additional resources on the street. I think you'll see that. It will be evident (on Monday) as they begin this new component in their careers," said IMPD Ofc. Chris Wilburn.
The ninth IMPD recruiting class consists of 47 men and 11 women. It's also diverse on purpose, trying to reflect Indy's population. The racial make-up of the class is 60 percent white, 28 percent black and 12 percent Hispanic.
The department currently has about 1,540 officers, but needs to add about 700 more to be on par with cities of similar size. IMPD hopes to add about 250 more in the next four years.