Gov. Holcomb creates state equity chief, requires Indiana State Police body cams

Gov. Holcomb will create Indiana’s first-ever Chief Equity, Inclusion and Opportunity Officer. He will also require the use of body cameras for every frontline Indiana State Police trooper by the spring of 2021.

Posted: Aug 18, 2020 1:56 PM
Updated: Aug 19, 2020 10:27 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced steps Tuesday toward tackling racial injustice concerns that include equipping state police troopers with body cameras and hiring a state government equality officer who’ll report directly to him.

The Republican governor discussed his plans in an online speech after the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus called last week for increased accountability for the state’s police officers — and 11 weeks after protests over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota turned violent in Indianapolis and left behind widespread damage to downtown businesses.

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Indiana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kevin Brinegar issued the following statement on the Governor’s new equity and inclusion plan for the state:

“The plan Governor Holcomb announced today represents a positive step forward for achieving true equity for Hoosiers who have experienced racism and a feeling of being left behind.

“The Indiana Chamber vows to continue to pursue policies and programs that will raise up the education level and prosperity of all Hoosiers – especially focusing on those who have been underserved and in greater need.

"For our businesses and communities to succeed, all of our citizens need to have a pathway to thrive as well.”

Gov. Eric Holcomb

Holcomb described racism as a “virus that’s equally voracious” as the coronavirus outbreak for the state and nation.

“It’s in turn forcing us to a reckoning as a state and nation – one that’s built on ‘equality for all,’” he said.

Democratic governor candidate Woody Myers, an African American who is challenging Holcomb in the November election, disparaged Holcomb’s proposals as disingenuous for coming after nearly 16 years of Republican control of the governor’s office.

“This is an effort to make people feel good about his willingness to address a set of issues that up until now he’s not been willing to address,” Myers said in an interview.

Holcomb said he would have every “front-line state trooper” wearing a body camera by spring of 2021. The Black Legislative Caucus, made up of 13 Black Democratic lawmakers, called last week for body and dashboard cameras for police agencies statewide.

State police will need to spend about $5 million to purchase body cameras for some 700 troopers, with it then costing about $1.5 million a year to manage the video data, state police Superintendent Doug Carter said.

Holcomb also said an outside review would be conducted of the training practices and curriculum at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, which is operated by the state police and provides the basic training of new officers for most police agencies across the state.

The new chief equity, inclusion and opportunity officer position announced by Holcomb will be a cabinet-level position dedicated to working with state agencies to identify and make changes to improve equality in the workplace and with government services.

“For my part, I commit to you that I will work to be a barrier buster and 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 of their potential,” Holcomb said.

Myers, who is the first Black major party nominee for Indiana governor, said steps such as requiring police body cameras should have been taken years ago, while he questioned the equity officer would have the authority to make significant changes.

Myers also faulted Holcomb and Republicans who dominate the Legislature for not earlier tackling problems such as low teacher pay and a lack of public health funding that have disproportionately hurt minority communities.

“I just think it is disingenuous to make us think now that there is a genuine concern when there hasn’t been for such a long, long time,” Myers said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 751242

Reported Deaths: 13795
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1032931788
Lake556911009
Allen41692692
St. Joseph36990565
Hamilton36588417
Elkhart29398461
Tippecanoe22901226
Vanderburgh22556400
Porter19356325
Johnson18471389
Hendricks17682317
Clark13226195
Madison13149344
Vigo12614253
LaPorte12419221
Monroe12207176
Delaware10966198
Howard10321225
Kosciusko9630121
Hancock8576146
Bartholomew8169157
Warrick7860156
Floyd7811180
Grant7242179
Wayne7162201
Boone6966103
Morgan6761141
Dubois6218118
Marshall6209116
Cass6016110
Henry5900110
Dearborn589878
Noble581488
Jackson509076
Shelby501496
Lawrence4742122
Gibson444894
Clinton442355
Harrison441875
DeKalb439885
Montgomery438090
Whitley406543
Huntington402681
Steuben400159
Miami395269
Jasper388054
Knox375991
Putnam372960
Wabash361983
Ripley347170
Adams345555
Jefferson335886
White331953
Daviess3033100
Wells295281
Decatur289992
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey273835
LaGrange273072
Scott270156
Clay267148
Washington246036
Randolph244783
Jennings235349
Spencer234531
Starke228058
Fountain220948
Sullivan214643
Owen211858
Fulton202942
Jay200932
Carroll193620
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion174844
Franklin170335
Tipton166246
Parke149416
Pike138234
Blackford136232
Pulaski120647
Newton113936
Brown104243
Crawford102516
Benton101714
Martin91715
Warren84015
Switzerland8148
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0420

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1108902

Reported Deaths: 20166
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1287491467
Cuyahoga1158082211
Hamilton814091250
Montgomery525571043
Summit484351001
Lucas43359820
Butler39018606
Stark33338929
Lorain25675505
Warren24595303
Mahoning22376603
Lake21211388
Clermont20124253
Delaware18856136
Licking16663222
Fairfield16576204
Trumbull16551482
Medina15612271
Greene15284248
Clark14237306
Wood13292200
Portage13251215
Allen11914239
Richland11607211
Miami10849225
Wayne9146223
Columbiana9034230
Muskingum8906135
Pickaway8664122
Tuscarawas8650250
Marion8642138
Erie8056165
Ashtabula7161179
Hancock6999132
Ross6945161
Geauga6838151
Scioto6534106
Belmont6157174
Union584649
Lawrence5732102
Jefferson5679158
Huron5546122
Sandusky5442126
Darke5420129
Seneca5350128
Washington5320109
Athens523960
Auglaize502187
Mercer487385
Shelby476895
Knox4572112
Madison444366
Ashland435797
Putnam4336103
Defiance432399
Fulton432174
Crawford4040110
Brown402461
Logan387677
Preble3856105
Clinton379166
Ottawa373681
Highland359865
Williams348278
Champaign344859
Guernsey324953
Jackson318254
Perry297350
Morrow291840
Fayette285450
Hardin275365
Henry273467
Holmes2702101
Coshocton269060
Van Wert247264
Adams243256
Pike242835
Gallia240750
Wyandot234556
Hocking220563
Carroll197348
Paulding176542
Meigs148440
Monroe136344
Noble136239
Harrison114138
Morgan109624
Vinton85717
Unassigned03
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