Support programs in place for IMPD officers facing challenges

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – On the heels of another Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer’s DUI arrest, the department is spotlighting programs in place to help officers.

“This is a stressful job and we need to make sure we take care of our own, so we don’t have these type of incidents,” IMPD Lt. Chris Bailey said.

IMPD calls their officer wellness and employee assistance programs one-of-a-kind. It allows officers to admit challenges they’re facing in their life without serious consequences.

“You have the opportunity to get better and keep your career and serve the citizens of Indianapolis like the vast majority of our officers do each and every day with honor and dignity,” Lt. Bailey said.

The programs cover everything from substance abuse to marital issues and are available to all 1,700 IMPD employees.

“Ultimately, individuals make their own choices and with those choices are consequences, so our message to the department is you know the rules and if you violate those rules you’ll be held accountable,” Lt. Bailey said.

Still some officers end up facing charges. Allen Johnson is the seventh IMPD officer arrested under the suspicion of DUI in the last year. It’s a small number, less than a half-percent of the IMPD staff, but it impacts each and every officer.

“This is a very disappointing for us that our officers once again have to fight off that stigma and earn back the public’s trust,” Lt. Bailey said.

The Fraternal Order of Police says a message pops up on the computers at IMPD when each officer logs in for the day, informing them of the programs in place and how to get help if needed.

Also, the Department of Public Safety says it provides written notice to each and every IMPD employee of it’s substance abuse program, so that the rules and disciplinary action of the department is well-known.

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