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Indiana Black Legislative Caucus applauds Holcomb on law enforcement reform progress

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Justin Hicks / IPB News
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The head of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus said she’s pleased with the Holcomb administration’s response to a recently-released report on Indiana law enforcement policies and training.

The third-party review, first announced by Gov. Eric Holcomb last year, includes several recommendations for how state law enforcement agencies should change the way they operate.

And IBLC Chair Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis) noted Holcomb has already implemented a few of those recommendations.

“So, I’m just happy they’re pretty positive about trying to implement some of these recommendations from the study and that it didn’t take them a long time to actually get a jump start and start working on these ideas,” Shackleford said.

Some implemented recommendations include outfitting every frontline state trooper with a body camera, and better tracking incidents where troopers use force, to review and analyze them.

READ MORE: Outside firm delivers recommended improvements to Indiana law enforcement

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Some recommendations aren’t yet being followed, however. For instance, the Black Caucus has pushed the state to mandate implicit bias training for police. And the report recommends that. The administration has only pledged to study it further.

Shackleford said she’s noticed pushback from conservatives to the idea of implicit bias training.

“It looks at your own biases," Shackleford said. "So, it looks at the individual biases. It’s not something that’s pointing a finger at an entire group.”

And the Indianapolis Democrat said the time for further study is over.

"We have enough data," Shackleford said. "We now have this official study. So, just implementing their recommendations in a timely manner – I think those would definitely be great next steps."

Shackleford said there’s still work to be done on justice reform – including making sure that changes created last session in a bipartisan police reform bill, HEA 1006, are implemented.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.