Considering the increase in the dangers of the world we live in today, it is important to ensure our staff and students are safe. In late 2015, IPS contacted the Indiana University Public Policy Institute for assistance in reviewing IPS Police operations, administrative practices (including budgeting and finances), and external partnerships.
This study will provide a general overview of current IPS Police activities and will include input from IPS administration officials, police officers, and school administrators related to their perceptions of what is working well in the current system as well as areas where improvements may be warranted. The study will also include a limited review of best practices in school police departments across the U.S. While this is not a comprehensive evaluation, the study will serve as an important first step in mapping out the future of enhanced public safety efforts in IPS.
“I hope the end result is that they use what we do in our district as a model of how the work should be done in other districts, and I hope we gain some new insights to our processes as well,” says IPS Police Chief Garner.
IPS is committed to the safety of every student, staff member and guest. IU Public Policy Institute Senior Policy Analyst Dona Sapp says she thinks this study shows how much IPS is concerned about the safety of students and staff. Sapp further explains the study that IU Public Policy Institute is conducting involves the following:
- A review of IPS Police operations by studying the day-to-day duties and responsibilities of IPS Police officers
“This part of our study will focus on determining whether the IPS Police officers are allocating their time to the safety of the students and staff,” says Sapp.
“I believe the administrators and staff at the schools have gotten comfortable with having officers in the schools, to the point where sometimes the officers are doing other things outside of their job description,” says Chief Garner, “it’s important for us to identify those situations and correct them, at the end of the day, it’s about keeping everyone safe, that’s our job.”
- An analysis of the IPS Operations budget to identify cost efficiencies
- Identify other ways IPS Police may be able to partner with IMPD and The Sheriff’s department to share information and better utilize resources
“Technology has improved greatly. We now have better equipment, such as the reporting systems we use. When we input a report, we are using the same system as IMPD,” says Chief Garner.
Chief Garner emphasized the importance of building partnerships and using resources in our community to ensure our district is a safe place to learn and teach. The IPS Police department attends a conference every year held by Council of the Great City Schools to discuss various safety practices that other districts across the nation have implemented. At the conference, Chief Garner says, he “learns about different resources that are available by listening to how other police departments handled major incidents.”
IPS Operations Officer David Rosenberg says the IU Public Policy Institute study should be complete in February 2016.
“This partnership with the IU Public Policy Institute is very exciting. It’s always good to have a team of people come in and find how we can improve our current processes,” says Rosenberg, “we’re excited to see what the Institute’s findings and recommendations will be.”