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New law set to streamline police policies statewide

The law will allow the Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board the ability to create a statewide "deadly force policy and training program."

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana lawmakers passed a new law that will standardize important police policies across the state. However, some officers believe the bipartisan law could weaken some departments' standards.

"It addresses standardization of training programs, particularly in relationship to things like deadly force," said the author of the law, Sen. Michael Crider, R-Greenfield.

The law will allow the Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board the ability to create a statewide "deadly force policy and training program" and/or a "defensive tactics policy and training program" that "may not be modified or altered in any way."

Other standards approved by the board are minimum standards and departments, offices and agencies can enhance.

Some Indianapolis officers worry the language in the law could mean their stricter policies could be rolled back. IMPD updated its use of force policy in 2020. The update banned officers from using chokeholds. It also banned firing a gun into or from a moving vehicle.

RELATED: IMPD unveils new use of force policies

The department sent 13News this statement on the subject.

"IMPD will continue to monitor what steps are taken by the Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board as a result of Senate Bill 294. Chief Taylor is one of many law enforcement leaders who sits on the state's Law Enforcement Training Board. We are hopeful his thoughts and concerns will be heard as the process moves forward."

RELATED: IMPD announces creation of Use of Force Review Board

13News also reached out to Indiana State Police about the law. ISP sent this statement:

"The Indiana State Police is confident in its current use of force policy, which can be found at this link.  We are, though, not exempt from accepting change. Our policy will be available for any modifications, if needed, based on what will ultimately be developed by the Law Enforcement Training Board."

The new law will also expand the board from 17 to 23 members. New members will include a representative for professional journalists, educators, and a minority business or nonprofit.

"This is what we need more of," said Rep. Renee Pack, D-Indianapolis. "So that everybody is at the same table making those decisions."

The law goes into effect July 1.