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IMPD working to flip its fleet of squad cars amidst massive recruiting and retention effort

IMPD said the department is currently down more than 200 officers. The department is also working to replace its fleet of vehicles.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is in the midst of a massive campaign to bring more police officers to Indianapolis.

"I don't know another time in my 24 years where the city has invested this much money in its recruiting and retention efforts," said IMPD Assistant Chief of Police Chris Bailey.

IMPD said the department is currently down more than 200 officers.

"The last three years, there's been a lot of scrutiny and criticism of what our officers do and don't do," said Bailey. "Not just here in Indianapolis, but around the country."

IMPD is shifting its recruiting focus to meet those needs, grabbing experienced officers from nearby cities like Cincinnati and Louisville.

Chief Jim Ison and the Greenwood Police Department are launching a similar campaign.

"Us chiefs, we kind of joke with each other, because we are stealing from each other," said Ison. "What we try to do, and what every other agency is doing, is trying to make their agency more attractive than others to lure these more experienced professionals into our communities and our department."

Ison said he's down eight officers. The department will also have an additional three police officer openings in January.

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"This last process I held, we had 49 applicants. Out of that, eight showed up to take the written test," he said. "That is a trend across the country. The last 20 years, an average hiring process is between 350 and 400 applicants."

Another reason IMPD says some officers, especially young officers, are leaving the department is because of the squad car they're in. 

"We've invested millions of dollars over the past two years, and we have a six-year plan to completely flip our fleet and put officers in new cars," said Bailey.

It's a problem Greenwood's much smaller roster of patrolmen and women don't have.

"The officers I've hired this year are already driving 2021, 2022 vehicles," said Ison. "They come in, they get the best, newest equipment."

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It's a problem IMPD said they're fully aware of.

"We have money to purchase cars, we just can't get the cars. We bought over 300 cars last year," said Bailey. "The plan is to do the same thing this year."

Greenwood police said over the last two years, they've hired three former IMPD officers.

Both departments are currently looking for new hires and transfer hires. You can find more information about salary, benefits and how to apply to become a police officer in Indianapolis or Greenwood here. 

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