INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A new Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department memo could result in fewer arrests this weekend in Marion County.
24-Hour News 8’s I-Team 8 received the internal IMPD memo this week from a source.
The three-paragraph bulletin tells officers to temporarily change how misdemeanor and nonviolent Class D felony cases are handled. Under the new policy, those who receive a nonviolent Class D felony will get a summons to appear in court instead of an outright arrest.
Doug Stephenson, owner of Downtown Comics, doesn’t mind the officers issuing summons instead of arrests for some petty crimes.
“From my perspective, I rather they do the summons,” said Stephenson. ” Then they (suspects), can make their court appearance.”
Officers can still use their own discretion when determining when to make an arrest.
“In no way is this going to jeopardize public safety,” said IMPD Lt. Christopher Bailey.
Some of the petty crimes include small amounts of marijuana possession, illegal pills, and shoplifting.
This policy is in effect until Monday, June 16, but police stress this is not a mandatory policy.
“It does make me nervous,” said Jennifer Adams, an Indianapolis resident.
Marion County is switching to a new state supported Odyssey system this weekend. The old system IMPD used is called JUSTIS.
By June 16, all existing criminal cases in the old system will be transferred over to Odyssey.
According to the IMPD, they had concerns that the newly filed reports in the system could slow the transfer of records down.
It’s estimated 1.6 million criminal cases from Marion County will be added to the new system. Once complete, the system will be used by more than 200 courts in 48 counties. It will also include free 24/7 public access, and hold 15 million criminal cases.