INDIANAPOLIS — On Wednesday, Indiana Gubernatorial Candidate Brad Chambers released his “Protect and Serve” plan surrounding how he plans to support first responders and approach public safety if he is elected governor.
Chambers, a Republican and the former Indiana Secretary of Commerce, focused on seven items regarding how he would help build “a safer Indiana,” covering topics like instituting mandatory minimum bail, qualified immunity, the fentanyl epidemic and first responders.
“Our law enforcement officers and first responders have endured relentless attacks over the past few years, all while career politicians out in Washington, D.C., call for their departments to be defunded or their legal protections to be scaled back,” Chambers said in the release. “For Indiana to be prosperous, we must first ensure Hoosiers and our communities are safe — that starts by supporting law enforcement and first responders, not attacking them. My plan provides them with the resources and support they need to not just do their jobs but also thrive as our friends and neighbors.”
Chambers’ “Protect and Serve” plan has the following pillars:
- Institute mandatory minimum bail for violent and repeat offenders
- Chambers said he would lead the effort to create mandatory minimum levels of required bail in the Indiana court system. Chambers said the new standard would be calculated “based on a complete analysis of all crimes the offender is charged with.”
- “Mandatory minimum bail will be a vital step in stopping the revolving door of crime and reduce instances of offenders out on low or no-cost bail from committing additional crimes while they are waiting to be put before a judge.”
- Enhance and strengthen qualified immunity
- Chambers said he would work with the state legislature to “enhance and strengthen qualified immunity by codifying it into state law.”
- “No police officer, firefighter or EMS personnel should ever wrongfully face criminal liability for their good faith actions in the line of duty.”
- Create regional, multi-disciplinary, cross-jurisdictional task forces to tackle the fentanyl epidemic
- Chambers will pursue the creation of regional, multi-disciplinary task forces that cross jurisdictional lines to act as a “force multiplier.” Chambers said the task forces, when implemented, will be permitted to investigate deaths that are linked to synthetic opioids as homicides, giving them the opportunity to target dealers and traffickers.
- Chambers also said he will secure funding to help local entities battle the epidemic, including purchasing specialized equipment and provide personnel and prosecutorial support to charge and prosecute fentanyl-related crimes.
- Propose enhanced recruitment efforts to attract and retain first responders
- Chambers will work with the state’s Secretary of Education, as well as institutions of higher education, to create programs to provide “expedited pathways” for students to become a first responder.
- Chambers also said the state would run an out-of-state recruitment effort so first responders from other states can easily work in Indiana departments and agencies.
- Give offenders experiencing mental health crises the appropriate treatment
- Chambers said he will work with the state legislature to build and fund additional behavioral health centers so offenders can receive appropriate care.
- Chambers said he will also work with the legislature to give first responders “the full backing of the law to make the decision to commit offenders in crisis to a behavioral health center.
- Ensure first responders are well-trained
- Chambers said he will partner with the state legislature to “identify training gaps” that local departments still experience that the state can help address, as well as establish additional training curriculum that addresses mental health problems.
- Allow licensed childcare facilities to qualify for the Indiana Secured School Grant program
- Chambers said he will propose making licensed childcare facilities be able to apply for the program, which provides state matching grant funds that schools can use for student safety initiatives.
“My Protect and Serve” plan will ensure our law enforcement officers and first responders have the resources and support they need to not just do their jobs but also thrive as our friends and neighbors,” Chambers said.
According to previous reports, other Republican candidates have also announced their respective intentions to run for the gubernatorial position, including:
- Curtis Hill, a former Indiana Attorney General;
- Mike Braun, a current U.S. Senator for Indiana;
- Suzanne Crouch, Indiana’s current lieutenant governor;
- Eric Doden, the former president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation;
- Jamie Reitenour.
In the Democratic primary, Jennifer McCormick, the former superintendent of public instruction for Indiana, announced her intention to run for governor. Donald Rainwater, a Libertarian, has also announced his intention to run for the position.
In a statement previously provided to FOX59/CBS4, officials with the Indiana Secretary of State’s office said that official candidate filing for the 2024 state and federal primary election does not start until January.