Make your home page

Marion County sheriff changes inmate transport policy because of Deputy Durm murder

Video released in Marion County Sheriff’s deputy’s death

INDIANAPOLIS — On the day that Deputy John Durm was murdered, the Marion County Sheriff Kerry Forestal says the inmate transport policy in place was broken because Deputy Durm was transporting an accused murderer by himself.

“Staffing has probably got too complacent,” said Forestal. “Because we’re so short-staffed, people will make decisions that aren’t in the best interest. Whether that’s the deputy, the supervisor. We have changed a roundabout of supervisors so we get fresh eyes on different sections so that any learned bad habits can be overseen or corrected.”

The inmate transport policy in place on the day Deputy Durm was murdered had wiggle room for whether an inmate could be transported with one deputy.

The new policy eliminates that wiggle room.

“All off-site medical transports for inmates shall require two deputies during transport. All off-site medical appointments are conducted using two deputies, or a combination of one deputy and one detention deputy. Never two unarmed deputies,” said Forestal.

Right now, the Marion County Sheriff’s office is 150 deputies short of full staff.

“Additional overtime is being used to accommodate the increase in staff required to complete this transport,” said Forestal.

Moving forward, it won’t be a given that inmates are transported to Eskenazi for non-emergency medical treatment.

“All off site medical service, except those requiring ambulance transport for emergency treatment, shall be evaluated and authorized with our contract physician with a documented reason with why services cannot be provided on-site and by our contract medical provider before being transported,” said Forestal.

Other changes in the new policy include:

  • All accused murderers, which Orlando Mitchell was, will now wear red clothing as a reminder of their potential danger.
  • Deputies will be retrained on how to put on belly chains, although Sheriff Forestal said it appears that Deputy Durm put it on Mitchell correctly.
  • Deputies will also go through complacency training.
  • Any time law enforcement brings someone into the sally port, they will have to identify their agency and the number people they have in custody.
  • Someone in jail processing will meet them inside the sally port so they aren’t alone.
  • There will also be stricter enforcement of firearm storage in secure areas.
  • The sheriff’s office has also installed a heart defibrillator on the wall of the sally port.