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WISH-TV’s Daybreak and IMPD leader launch ‘Coffee with the Chief’

IMPD Chief Chris Bailey – Coffee with the Chief

Daybreak launches Coffee with the Chief

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — New leadership for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department brings a new opportunity for viewers of WISH-TV’s Daybreak.

Chief Chris Bailey has agreed to appear regularly with Hanna Mordoh, Jeremy Jenkins, and Scott Sander, to discuss the challenges and opportunities for the department, its officers, and the community they serve.

Our first “Coffee with the Chief” conversation opened Tuesday on the topic of back-to-back weekend shooting scenes that left several people wounded or dead. In the more recent case, an off-duty IMPD officer was among the injured as officers fired, killing the accused shooter.

Bailey has described the cases as “deeply disturbing”, “tragic”, and “chaotic”.

“It’s a very complex issue, and it seems to be becoming normalized – especially when you mix alcohol, guns, and just a lack of being able to deal with your conflict in a reasonable way,” Bailey told News 8.

“The individuals who decided to pull the trigger in these cases are the ultimate people that are responsible for this. The police, all of our partners of government, (and) the bar owners can only do so much. It really is an individual decision that people need to find a different way to deal with their anger issues.”

Chief Bailey pointed to a recent road rage case as an example of the same problem.

“We see it play out over and over again,” he explained. “The 16-year old girl on the interstate a couple of weeks ago who was shot at for honking her horn? Just completely unnecessary. And if the police know exactly where these things are going to happen, we’re going to put people there to prevent them. Unfortunately, these are spur of the moment emotional decisions that people make and are hard for us to intervene with.”

A follow-up question built on the work of I-Team 8, which discovered that state officials had denied the transfer of a liquor license for the 11:11 Bar and Grille, where Sunday’s fatal shooting happened.

“We have a nuisance abatement task force that we work with multiple agencies, including the state excise police. We work with them to educate bars but also hold them accountable when it’s necessary.” Bailey says that can include going before local and state boards to make the case that a bar or restaurant should lose a license.

The chief also talked to Daybreak about the efforts to recruit and retain officers, a task that has proven difficult here and across the country.

“We still believe (the profession of policing) is a noble one. There are great things that can be accomplished when we work together and when we join and we make change from the inside,” he said.

To that end, Bailey says new recruiting efforts from within the department are truly grassroots.

“This is effort’s led by our patrol officers and sergeants who said, ‘We want to help be a part of the change.’ And so they’ve created these district-level recruiting events. We had the ‘Women Behind the Badge‘ event earlier this week that was very successful.”

Bailey says the force is more diverse than ever before. “Thirty percent women and 35% African American. I’m proud of that. I’m proud of the people that serve this team. They have a diversity and not just the way they look but their experience in life.”

Expect to see Chief Bailey frequently on Daybreak, showing us IMPD’s perspective on the stories making headlines.

Click on the video above to watch the full segment.