INDIANAPOLIS — Governor Holcomb announced several new plans aimed at improving equity, inclusion and diversity in Indiana. These plans range from body cameras and improving use of force rules and training for police to examining and publicly sharing data for various programs to see where minority Hoosier populations are being left behind.
Here are the big takeaways:
- The governor is creating a new cabinet position - recruiting and hiring the first "Chief Equity and Opportunity Officer". That person will report to the governor and help state agencies figure out what barriers to inclusion exist right now and develop plans to remove them.
- All frontline Indiana State Police Troopers will have body cameras by the spring of 2021. That's about 700 troopers at a cost of $5 million upfront, plus about $1 million annually for maintenance and to manage and store the cameras' data.
- The governor is directing a third-party review of state police and law enforcement curriculum for all Indiana officers statewide. Outside professional experts will take a look at the current training and curriculum at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, including use of force policies, de-escalation techniques and implicit bias training. Then, the experts will make recommendations on potential changes to that training and curriculum.
- To monitor progress with all of these plans, the state is creating a Public Disparity Data Portal. That portal will compile and publicly share data on various programs statewide, agency by agency, to show how they're working and what disparities may exist for minority populations, so those can be improved upon.
- The governor also pledged to work with lawmakers and other state leaders on sentencing reform, jail overcrowding, policies for diversity in workforce development programs and the improved recruitment of minority educators in Indiana.
"For my part, I commit to you that I will work to be a barrier buster. I commit to bring greater equity and opportunity within your state government and the services you entrust us to provide, so that every Hoosier can take full advantage of their gifts and potential," Gov. Holcomb said.