Earlier this year, Indiana lawmakers showed that it’s possible to pass common-sense bipartisan police reform that holds law enforcement accountable while also understanding the important role police play in our communities.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed House Bill 1006 into law on April 1. The measure earned widespread support from Republicans and Democrats in the state’s House and Senate.
The new law calls for mandatory de-escalation training, misdemeanor penalties for officers who turn off body cameras with intent to conceal, and bans on chokeholds in certain circumstances.
It also establishes procedures for decertifying officers who engage in misconduct and make it easier for police departments to share information with one another and prevent “bad apple” officers from changing employers and continue tarnishing the important reputation police have in their communities.
Bipartisan Indian Police Reform Bill
The measure received support from the Indiana Fraternal Order of Police, Indiana Association of Police Chiefs, and the Indiana Sheriffs Association.
“It’s a very rare circumstance that the Indiana State Police get to stand up and say what I’m about to say … but we rise in support of the bill,” said Indiana State Police Lt. Brad Hoffeditz. “This bill basically standardizes everything the State Police are already doing. It’s very difficult to make a decision that we need to make on an employment action when that’s the information we have at hand.”
The law also received support from the NAACP, Indianapolis Urban League, and the Indiana Black Expo, who applauded the ban on chokeholds following the death of George Floyd last summer.
“Total Support” from Law Enforcement
Bill author Republican Rep. Greg Steuerwald said the measure has “total support” from law enforcement. Police organizations, including the state Fraternal Order of Police, the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Indiana Sheriff’s Association, backed the legislation.
From a political perspective, the bill represents a rare show of bipartisanship and the power of what can happen when Republicans and Democrats come together to craft policy that works for everyone.
“There are many things that are in this bill that Indiana should be proud of … that Hoosiers should be proud of,” Republican Sen. Jack Sandlin of Indianapolis told the Associated Press. “There are things that law enforcement agencies have been doing right for a long time, but this brings it across to all law enforcement agencies in Indiana, which is where it should be. And there should be accountability, and I think that’s what’s here.”
“HB 1006 is a testament to what we can do when we work together in the best interest of Hoosiers instead of politics,” Democratic Sen. Greg Taylor told the Indianapolis Star. “This is good public policy that will save lives, and is a step in the right direction in our efforts to address police reform.”
Legislative Action Tracker
For more information on police-related legislation in states across the country, visit National Police Support Fund’s Legislative Action tracker.
Two bills working their way through Oklahoma’s state legislature would take big steps toward protecting police and their families from harassment and restoring respect for police in their local communities. Read more about the two bills here.