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INDIANAPOLIS–The City of Indianapolis is putting on the “Why We Serve” campaign. Its goal is to convince police officers and recruits across the Midwest to come to Indianapolis and help fight violence.

“This all out recruitment effort addresses a critical component of our three-year anti-violence strategy—a fully staffed IMPD. Not only can more officers in more patrols reduce violence, they can also forge deeper relationships with the community they serve, leading to more convictions of those who commit violence,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.

The campaign’s first phase is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act and cost about $215,000. Hogsett says it will be active from mid-October through the end of January 2023, with an additional rollout in the coming months made possible through $750,000 in supplemental income tax funding.

“It’s no secret that we’re a little over 200 officers down. We’d really like to make that impact. With the financial and professional opportunities available to new recruits, there has never been a better time to become a police officer in Indianapolis,” added IMPD Police Chief Randall Taylor.

One of the IMPD officers at Monday’s news conference who spoke was Desiree Biggers.

“It has allowed me to serve and make a difference in the city that I know and love,” said Biggers.

With the passing of the 2023 City-County operating budget, IMPD officers will have one of the highest first-year salaries in the Midwest at $61,820. That represents a 55% increase since 2015, when the starting salary was $39,446. The 2023 budget also increases recruit and lateral officer hiring bonuses to $10,000. Officers earn over $75,000 after 24 months, get paid during the academy, receive overtime pay, health insurance, a pension plan and college incentive pay.

In the Indianapolis area, there will be a total of four poster billboards that will be located on major roadways throughout the city. These posters will be located in densely populated areas and market research suggests that the campaign will be viewed approximately 6 million times during its phase one run.

The first round of billboards will be in the following locations:

-1625 16th St W (east of Riverside Dr)

-9999 Crawfordsville Rd (east of CR 1000 E)

-6136 Washington St E (east of Catherwood Av)

-6190 Keystone Av N (south of 62nd St)

One poster billboard, located on 16th Street, will feature Spanish-language messaging.

IMPD also has billboards and digital ads in Fort Wayne, Bloomington, and Vincennes. There are also ads in Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio.

IMPD is actively recruiting for the 27th Recruit Class that will begin in October 2023. Applicants have until February 8, 2023, to apply. IMPD’s 26th Recruit Class is set to begin March 20 and graduate September 15, 2023.