New laws take effect in Indiana; police training and school funding among changes

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INDIANAPOLIS — Starting July 1st, several new laws are in place for the Hoosier State.

Among the big changes are updated requirements for police training and body cameras.

House Enrolled Act 1006 requires police officers to learn de-escalation tactics during use of force training. The law also allows chokeholds in limited situations only.

We spoke with Indiana State Police, who is already implementing similar changes within its agency.

Chief Public Information Officer, Captain Ron Galaviz, says the changes benefit agencies, and the public, as it allows standardization and uniformity in training and policy.

“Even though we’re there, we are continuing to evolve and move forward because we can always, we always benefit from that additional training as well,” he said. “So again, statewide, it’s going to be a benefit to everybody.”

“As our society changes, we have to evolve, and we have to change accordingly, and that starts with training and policies,” he said. “Maybe some are enacted by legislature, like we’re seeing this year. So again, as an agency, we continue to evolve. We continue to move forward the very best that we can.”

Another element to HEA 1006 prohibits officers from intentionally turning off their body cameras. That’s in order to hide a criminal act done by themselves or other officers.

Galaviz says body cameras provide accountability on not only police, but the public also.

“It obviously provides a level of transparency on both sides of the coin, both on the law enforcement side, but also on the general public side,” he said. “So now, you get to see both sides of an interaction, or an incident.”

“Now granted, they are limited in scope,” he continued, “They don’t see a full 360 degrees. They don’t take in what’s going on around. They don’t smell. They don’t have all the senses that you and I have when we’re immersed in that particular situation, but again, it adds that additional dimension.”

Another law, Senate Enrolled Act 368, involves juveniles.

It requires those, younger than 18, and facing adult charges, to still be housed in a secure juvenile facility. That’s unless the court finds it in the best interest of justice to put that person in jail with adults.

In education, historic changes are happening through House Enrolled Act 1001.

It gives 9.1% in student tuition support to state elementary and high schools. This totals out to about $1 billion. It applies to the 2022-23 budget period.

It’s a historic move as it makes for more than $8 billion a year, in school funding, for the first time in Indiana.

State Secretary of Education Dr. Katie Jenner was not available for an on-camera interview. Her office referred us to the statement below:

“In Indiana’s budget, all Hoosier kids win. With an historic $1.9 billion in new K-12 education dollars over the biennium, Indiana’s school funding increases are enabling Indiana’s schools to strategically invest in our students as well as our educators. This transformational funding increase, in addition to the influx of more than $3 billion in emergency federal funding, puts our schools on solid footing to accelerate beyond the challenges of the last year and ensure each and every Hoosier student is prepared for lifelong success.

“Hoosier educators in particular should benefit from this budget as the General Assembly embraced a range of recommendations set by the Teacher Compensation Commission. These efforts will be critical to increasing teacher pay, strengthening Indiana’s teacher pipeline, and attracting and retaining our best and brightest to this purposeful, difference-making profession.

“This student-centered, future-focused budget prioritizes Indiana’s schools, creating immense opportunities for every Hoosier student, in every Hoosier school, and in every Hoosier community.”

Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education

More changes are coming to school-owned computers and mobile devices through Senate Enrolled Act 414.

It requires every Indiana public and charter school to install protective hardware or software. That’s to block content such as sexually explicit photos, videos or other media considered harmful to minors.

Schools are required to make the change by January 1, 2022.

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