Indiana Governor delivers address on equity and inclusion

SOURCE: News release from the Office of Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb

INDIANAPOLIS – Governor Eric J. Holcomb today announced steps he will immediately take in state government to address equity and inclusion.

“What I’ve laid out today are actions in a broad effort to make sure Indiana is a place where every Hoosier has an equal opportunity and access to achieve our founders’ vision of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Achieving that vision requires we address root causes and remove barriers that have built up for centuries.”

Gov. Holcomb will create Indiana’s first-ever Chief Equity, Inclusion and Opportunity Officer. The officer will focus on improving equity, inclusion and opportunity across all state government operations as well as drive systemic change to remove hurdles in the government workplace and services the state provides.

Additionally, the officer will help state agencies develop their own strategic plans to remove barriers. The officer will be a member of the Governor’s Cabinet and report directly to the Governor.

Gov. Holcomb also announced he will require the use of body cameras for every frontline Indiana State Police trooper by the spring of 2021.

Gov. Holcomb will require a third-party review of state police and law enforcement academy curriculum and training at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA). He also committed to working with the state legislature to add more civilian representation to the ILEA Training Board.

ILEA provides the basic training for the majority of law enforcement officers in the state. 65 percent of the state’s law enforcement officers — including sheriff’s deputies, municipal law enforcement officers, Indiana State Police troopers, and conservation officers — receive some form of training at the academy.

To better monitor overall progress, the Governor will direct the state’s Management Performance Hub to create a Public Disparity Data Portal to show how our state programs are working.

The Governor will continue working with legislators, the judiciary, local sheriffs and prosecutors on potential legislation including sentencing reform and jail overcrowding. He also has asked the Commission for Higher Education, the Department of Workforce Development and the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet to submit recommendations on how the state can adjust policies for workforce programs.

“For my part, I commit to you that I will work to be a barrier buster. I commit to bring greater equity and opportunity within your state government and the services you entrust us to provide, so that every Hoosier can take full advantage of their gifts and potential,” Gov. Holcomb said.