INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A brand new set of IMPD recruits became police officers on Friday. The graduation comes as the department builds up the number of officers on the force.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department says they would tell people who are potential recruits, that you can make a difference.
If you have a desire to help people, they encourage you to try their profession.
A total of 59 people were in the recruit graduating class on Friday.
Officer Amanda Lane is one of them.
“I’m excited! I’m excited to hit the streets, to be out there in the community to protect and serve,” Lane said.
For just one reason, she decided to become a police officer. And she knew it would take months of training and hard work.
“I think I’ve had a calling for it, my whole life,” Lane explained.
Police in Indianapolis and around the country face some of the same issues.
“There’s just negative perceptions with police, which is a challenge. People may not want to join that. Then particularly in our minority communities, there’s a perception sometimes with families, that joining the police department has a negative connotation, almost like traitors. When, in fact if you look at it, if we can bring in more minorities, particularly African-Americans, Hispanics, then we can bridge that gap,” Lt. Shane Foley with IMPD said.
Anyone who lives in Indianapolis is most likely aware that the city has seen a lot of crime this year.
News 8 asked IMPD if crime is having an impact on recruiting police officers to join IMPD.
“I would like to say no. I would like to say that would help people want to come and make a difference in their neighborhood. But, reality is probably that some families may not want their loved ones to do this. But today shows how many people are here to support our recruits,” Sgt. Michelle Lewis, who recruits for IMPD, explained.
IMPD is ready to tackle the challenge head on and they have several recruiting efforts underway, including the nationwide “30-by-30” challenge to help recruit more women. They hope to get numbers up to 30% by 2030.
New graduates Lane and Officer Catilin Yanis both had special message on this memorable day.
“We really strive to give back to our community. It’s in our mission statement. to protect life and property. That’s something that we live by,” Yanis said.
“No matter the backlash or anything like that, we’re here to put our life on the line every day and give back to the community,” Lane explained.
IMPD told News 8 they have more than 100 positions open right now.
All of these new officers will be on the streets as soon as Saturday.
A new class starts in two weeks.