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IMPD releases new commercial in hopes to recruit fresh faces

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department announced Monday it has produced a new commercial in hopes to recruit people to the force.

They have also increased the starting salary and added a $10,000 sign-on bonus, but will it be enough to fill the ranks?

The announcement came as IMPD kicked off its Join IMPD Week, where the department will host several recruiting events to find future officers.

 “I think there are plenty of people out there that want to do the job but just don’t know what it is all about or just haven’t made the contacts,” said IMPD Chief Randal Taylor. 

The 30-second commercial is slick. The video shows a couple of IMPD officers doing what is supposed to be their regular everyday job, patrolling the streets, talking to people in their beat, and responding to crime scenes.

But is it enough to sway a would-be police officer to sign up and take an oath to serve and protect, especially in the midst of rampant gun violence in the city?   

Taylor tells I-Team 8 that he believes police officers are cut from a different cloth, and those people are still out there.

“We all know the job is dangerous. I believe there is a group of people that we just haven’t tapped into yet that understand that and are willing to put their lives on the line,” Taylor said.

In the wake of “defund the police” movements and the civil unrest in summer 2020, police recruitment has fallen in every major city, and, in the past two years, at least four IMPD officers have been criminally charged.

Taylor told News 8 he was unsure how much those factors have affected recruitment, but they are factors people have to consider when considering the job.

“I have encouraged our officers that you do your job, you follow the policies, and you should be OK. Most of the time, that is true, but not always. It is a cost you have to count when you pick up this job,” Taylor said.

As part of Join IMPD Week, officers will have recruiting tables at different locations across Indianapolis:

  • 3-7 p.m. Wednesday: 5.11 Tactical, 5650 E. 86th St.
  • Noon-4 p.m. Thursday: Indianapolis Zoo, 1200 W. Washington St.
  • 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday: Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 4790 W. 16th St.
  • 11 a.m.- 3p.m. Saturday: Asian Festival at Indiana Historical Society, 450 W. Ohio St.

The department has funding for 250 new police officers and is recruiting for three new classes. It takes about seven months to recruit and train each class. The deadline for applications was set for Aug. 26.