Supporting Law Enforcement



Everyday law enforcement officers watch out for our well-being and protect us from harm. This session, the Evansville Police Department and the Indiana Sheriffs’ Association asked me to author two bills, House Bills (HB) 1111 and 1151, which deal with various police/SWAT team issues. Recently, both bills passed out of the House of Representatives with unanimous support and are now moving to the Senate for consideration.

HB 1111, requested by the Evansville Police Department, is a unique bill that will give individuals trained in tactical emergency medicine the recognition and legality to perform in immediate life-saving circumstances. These individuals include members of the SWAT team who are trained to handle these kinds of situations.

The first responders, who have been trained to handle critical active shooter situations, are currently not recognized or able to legally perform these life-saving skills. HB 1111 will give these individuals the green light to use their skills to immediately and appropriately act in times of distress.

The bill allows for the practice of tactical emergency medicine if the individual:

1. is an emergency medical technician, an advanced emergency medical technician, or a paramedic;
2. is employed by a law enforcement agency or an emergency medical services agency to provide retrieval
and field medical treatment to victims of violent confrontations; and
3. has successfully completed an accredited educational training program in tactical emergency medicine.

HB 1151, requested by the Indiana Sheriffs’ association, creates a ‘Blue Alert’ notification system. The ‘Blue Alert’ program is designed to notify the public when a law enforcement officer has been killed, seriously injured or becomes missing in the line of duty. The concept of the ‘Blue Alert’ is fairly similar to the Amber and Silver alert programs.

The ‘Blue Alert’ program will allow families and communities to come together and be made aware of serious situations involving law enforcement officers, as well as provide peace of mind to the men and women who serve and to their families.

This system will be operated by the Indiana State Police Department (ISP), and they will be responsible for determining the geographic boundaries of the system and how widespread the alert will be. The ISP will also need to adopt the guidelines for the operation of this alert, including receiving and verifying information.