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IPS Appoints IMPD Commander to Serve as District’s New Director of Safety and Security

To continue to foster a safe and secure environment for all its students, Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) announced today it will appoint Indianapolis Metropolitan  Police Department (IMPD) Commander Ida Williams as its Director of Safety and Security, effective June 24.

Renowned for her transformational leadership within IMPD over her 35-year tenure, Williams will lead the development, implementation, and management of IPS programs tailored to address the comprehensive safety and security needs of the school community.

“This is a new role for IPS, and I can imagine no better person to lead it than Cmdr. Ida Williams,” said IPS Superintendent Dr. Aleesia Johnson. “Her extensive experience and dedication to safety make her the perfect candidate to lead our ongoing efforts to promote the safety and well-being of our students, families, and staff. We are confident she will play a pivotal role in further enhancing safety and security measures throughout the district.”

Williams will serve as the dedicated emergency management subject matter expert, helping the district prevent and prepare for emergencies through planning, evaluation, and training. She will also be responsible for improving the district’s safety protocols and procedures and work closely with IPS Police, Unified Student Supports, the Facilities Management Department, the Title IX office, and the district’s General Counsel.

“I am ecstatic for the opportunity to be the Director of Safety and Security for IPS,” Williams said. “Education is essential and improves the quality of life for all. Educators and students must always perform in a safe environment.” 

“For more than 35 years, I have worked steadfastly in public safety, working closely with youth-centric initiatives, and partnering with Indianapolis Public Schools. Now being a part of the team is certainly a blessing, and I look forward to the task of working with students, parents, faculty, and staff. I will embrace this responsibility to safeguard our educational community, where every step towards safety is a stride towards progress.”

Williams comes to IPS with a distinguished background in Indianapolis law enforcement since starting with IMPD in 1989. She achieved every police merit rank, notably becoming the first Black woman at IMPD to graduate from the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., and the third Black woman in the department’s history to attain the rank of captain. 

In 2021, Williams was elevated to Commander of the newly-created Community Engagement and Outreach Bureau, overseeing several units including the divisions of Diversity and Inclusion, Immigrant Outreach, Police Athletic League (PAL), Mounted Patrol, Recruiting, LGBTQ+, IMPD Cadet Program, and other mentoring initiatives.

Williams also served as a training and recruiting officer for IMPD, where she played a pivotal role in teaching the Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program to thousands of elementary and middle school students throughout Indianapolis. 

In 1987, she earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Indiana University, Bloomington, and also received a graduate certificate from the University of Virginia.