INDIANAPOLIS — Ride-alongs with IMPD are currently suspended due to COVID-19 with the exception of a few areas of the public eye, including media.
I was able to hitch a ride with IMPD’S Lieutenant Foley, one of the four current public information officers (PIO) for the Indianapolis agency. He took me around the city’s east side to show me how things look from an officer’s perspective.
Foley first took me to the scene of a called-in DOA, death on arrival. When we arrived, the fire department and two other IMPD officers were already on the scene. Although I wasn’t able to enter the home where the 40-year-old woman was found deceased, I was able to stand outside with the other officers and talk with them about what was going on and how they handle situations like this.
“What our responsibility is, is to make sure that we secure the area, contact the coroner, see if they coroner can respond to investigate cause of death. We also offer resources for the family to help with grieving,” said Foley.
Shortly after, Lt. Foley received a disturbance/harassment call at a nearby motel and was the first car to the scene. Luckily, nothing ended up being wrong and was probably a misunderstanding.
Now that Lt. Foley is a PIO, he is no longer required to do street-work and go on runs. However, he told me that he loves it. He loves staying busy and to be able to keep his mind refreshed.
It wasn’t until he became a PIO that Lt. Foley truly understood how many channels and hoops you have to jump through just to be able to send out a press release.
“I understand that you guys (media) want all of the information as soon as we get a call. We want you to have the information quickly, as well, but we need to make sure it’s accurate before it’s sent out,” Foley explained.
The final run that I went with Foley on, was to a report of a robbery at a nearby Dollar General. We simply spoke with the manager, received descriptions of the suspected robbers, and completed the report. After the report is sent in, officers make sure there is enough evidence, most notably, surveillance footage, to move forward with the investigation.
I was only with Foley for about two hours but I gained a lot of knowledge for what it means to protect a city, if not, a district of a large city.
Thank you to IMPD and Lt. Foley for this experience and thank you for helping reporters understand the in’s and out’s of law enforcement so we can more valuably communicate with our city.