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IMPD seeks to grow ranks with emphasis on diversity

"I need the officers," said Chief Randal Taylor. "I need them to commit and serve this great, great city."

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is looking for hundreds of applicants to fill officer roles to represent all areas of the community.

The need for more officers within the IMPD ranks continues to grow.

"We here have the budget for over 250 officers, in all frankness, and that's what we're looking to fill," said Chief Randal Taylor.

The department is not just growing in numbers, but also in diversity.

"I know I'm a minority when it comes to a Burmese American law enforcement officer, but I'm here today to tell you we need to be part of that change," said IMPD Ofc. Bawi Lian.

At the Burmese American Community Institute Thursday, IMPD continued its efforts to recruit communities underrepresented on the police force.

"I need the officers, honestly, I need them," Taylor said. "I need them to commit and serve this great, great city."

This recruitment initiative started in the fall. Taylor says it's a long-term investment.

"Even though we might not see those numbers right away, we're planting those seeds for the next generations," he said.

Which will, it is hoped, get officers on the streets earlier in their career.

"The department's average age is somewhere around 42, 43, which is fine, but it probably needs to come down a little bit and we'll get that with new recruits," Taylor said. "But in the meantime, laterals that are coming over at 30 or 40 years of age can still come over because we'll certainly take them, and we need their help as well."

Taylor said, so far, officers have made lateral moves to IMPD from as far away as New York.

"I do think people hear about it, they hear about the pay and the lifestyle and I think it is attractive to a number of them," said Taylor

IMPD says its actively recruiting for its next class of officers. Interested people have until April 15 to apply.

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