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IMPD moving to beat policing system

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Chris Staab has seen two types of police patrols by IMPD.

The first is known as zone policing. It is a strategy where officers patrol a large area to ensure coverage in larger areas. Often police departments use this technique when there are officer shortages. Some feel zone patrols don’t allow officers the chance to connect with residents regularly. 

Then there are beat patrols. Officers cover a smaller area, and are able to interact with residents in the neighborhood more often.  

“We have a better relationship with the officers, we know them on a first name basis, it is not confrontational, it is more of a friendly handshake,” said Staab. 

During an interview, Staab added that he knows some of his patrol officers by name. On any given shift, Staab can engage with the officers in casual conversations, or alert them to minor or major problems. 

Recently Mayor Joe Hogsett shared that he is adding about 78 police beats. This will replace some of the department’s zone policing. Staab lives near 10th Street and Rural Street, and his neighborhood has had the beat policing system for a little over a year. 

“Beat policing is fantastic, it brings the officers back to the neighborhood to serve instead of a zone,” said Staab.

Over the years since 2013, IMPD has added new police recruit classes, and those new officers increased the department’s staffing levels, paving the way for police beats.