Councilors call for new general orders board with civilians

Photo caption: Two city-county councilors, along with members of Faith in Indiana, spoke July 16 at King Park about their goal of creating a new general order board with IMPD that includes civilians. (Photo/Tyler Fenwick)

By Tyler Fenwick | Indianapolis Recorder
July 16, 2020

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Two city-county councilors announced they are seeking a new general orders board for Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, which would effectively serve the same function as the current general orders committee.

The difference is the new board would include civilians, whereas the current committee includes two appointments from the chief and one appointment from the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). The committee has final say when it comes to department policy.

Councilors Keith Potts and Crista Carlino, both of whom are Democrats, announced the initiative at a press conference July 16 alongside members of Faith in Indiana.

“It is time to put the voice of the public back in public safety,” Carlino said.

The city’s four-year contract with the FOP is up at the end of this year. Potts said the timing aligns with the city’s larger awakening when it comes to racism and police violence. Adding civilians to the board would be one step in helping build more trust between the community and police, he said.

Stuart Mora, chapter president of Unite Here Local 23, which mostly represents food service workers, called it a simple and logical measure to have civilians on a new board.

“Today, we are saying the police should not police the police,” he said.

The councilors said they don’t have all of the details worked out — such as how many civilians they would want on the board — and they plan to present the proposal to the city-county council in August.

Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.

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