Guest Column: Indiana Provides Big Boost For Law Enforcement


Indiana Provides Big Boost For Law Enforcement

Column submitted by House Speaker Todd Huston

The vast majority of us don’t worry whether we’ll make it home for dinner let alone whether we’ll make it home at all. That’s not the case for thousands of Indiana’s law enforcement officers who work hard to protect all Hoosiers. This year, legislators stepped up in a big way to recognize the sacrifices of the men and women in uniform by making strong investments in law enforcement training programs and facilities, and providing better hiring and crime-fighting tools.

This session, Republican efforts resulted in $70 million being directed to modernize law enforcement training facilities and programs. The Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield is an expansive campus preparing law enforcement professionals for service through rigorous training. While ILEA offers many state-of-the-art training programs, some areas have not been updated since the 1970s. Our investment will help ILEA make much-needed improvements and enhance their top-notch training programs. We’re also providing salary increases for state police, conservation and excise officers, and funding to construct a new Indiana State Police post and laboratory.

Thanks to the next two-year state budget, local departments can now apply for one-time grants to purchase body-worn cameras. While many departments are already using this technology to increase transparency and accountability, the state is offering matching grants to help departments that may not have the resources to equip all of their officers.

House Enrolled Act 1006, authored by State Rep. Greg Steuerwald, is one of the greatest achievements of the legislative session. Referred to by many as “historic” and a “national model,” this robust legislation gives police more tools to vet candidates and hire the best officers. The law requires full employment record sharing between police departments so they can identify bad actors. I strongly believe that we honor the best by getting rid of the worst. This legislation received bipartisan support, total backing from law enforcement, and support from the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus.

To help solve more crimes across the state, Indiana will expand the use of High Tech Crimes Units so prosecutors and law enforcement can work with Indiana’s colleges to gather and process digital evidence in a variety of cases. Through the passage of House Enrolled Act 1082, university students could help find additional evidence or exonerate a person of interest.

Overall, Republicans delivered big wins this session for our hardworking law enforcement officers and the communities they protect. Whether investing in training programs and facilities, or providing enhanced hiring and crime-fighting tools, these efforts serve all Hoosiers. We recognize the tremendous efforts of those who wear the badge, and Indiana’s Republican lawmakers stepped up to help provide them the resources they need to do their jobs and come home safe.

FOOTNOTE: House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) represents House District 37, which includes portions of Hamilton County and Fishers.