(INDIANAPOLIS) — Indy Metro Police will be wearing body cameras by September.
IMPD plans to outfit 100 officers a week with body cameras, and expects to equip the entire force by September.
Mayor Joe Hogsett says the introduction of body cameras was already in the works, but with the
controversy over the shooting of Sean Reed last week, it was important to update people. He says the community wants reassurance that the police department will take transparency seriously. Hogsett says having body cameras should eliminate much of the doubt and distrust surrounding police shootings, both by vindicating officers who acted appropriately and exposing those who don’t.
The City-County Council voted last fall to put a million dollars for cameras in this year’s budget, but
Hogsett and police chief Randal Taylor say it took time to pick a company for the contract. Georgia-based Utility already supplies body cameras to Lawrence, South Bend, and five other Indiana cities, as well as sheriff’s departments in Boone, Hancock, Hendricks, Dubois and Perry Counties.
Hogsett says IMPD will also issue an updated use-of-force policy by mid-June, and by the end of this
month will create a partly civilian review board to look at police shootings. Those steps have also been in the works.
The board could be asked to look at Reed’s shooting. Reed led police on a high-speed chase last week
while livestreaming the pursuit on Facebook. His smartphone was still broadcasting when the chase ended and Reed was shot to death. Police say Reed fired at officers, and that a gun found with his body matches one he posed with in a social-media photo. A court will appoint a special prosecutor to oversee the investigation.