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Money Monday: How the Indiana State Police Use State Tax Dollars



By Michelle Cain

May 4, 2020

Welcome to May’s Money Monday (say that five times fast)! Maybe not so fast that you break the speed limit though, as this month we’re highlighting the public safety work done by the Indiana State Police (ISP).

ISP has approximately 1,700 employees, of which, 1,300 are state troopers who work to protect our lives and property, investigate and deter crime and promote roadway safety by enforcing Indiana’s laws. Nearly all of ISP’s funding comes from state tax dollars or fees.

While it’s hard to encompass all these troopers do in one blog, let’s try and explore some things that may be new to you!

Getting to Know Their Local Communities
ISP troopers work hard to be deeply involved with their local communities. ISP has 14 posts throughout the state and each post has an assigned public information officer. These troopers conduct safety programs and do speaking engagements to keep their community informed on a multitude of safety-related topics. You may have heard of “Coffee with a Cop,” where each district hosts an event so people in the community personally know who their troopers are and have the chance to create lasting relationships. Find a local ISP post near you on ISP’s website.

Working on Special Teams
Whether behind the wheel of a police car, at the controls of a helicopter, underwater in SCUBA gear or handling explosives/firearms with an expert’s hand, ISP has several special teams with advanced training.

In the Air: ISP operates three helicopters and two planes to assist with traffic enforcement, search and rescue operations, criminal surveillance and disaster assessment.

Underwater: The Underwater Search and Recovery Team uses SCUBA gear to respond to life-threatening or drowning incidents and to recover evidence found underwater.

On Land: The Emergency Response (SWAT) team responds to high-risk situations. This may include hostage situations, prison disturbances, rescue missions or individuals who have barricaded themselves inside a building.

With Dogs: ISP K-9s participate in over 3,500 events annually ranging from vehicle searches, building searches, tracking, assisting other agencies and public appearances.

Analyzing Evidence in Forensic Laboratories
ISP’s Laboratory Division operates four forensic laboratories throughout the state. These labs provide 91% of analytical services and 59% of crime scene investigation services in support of county and municipal police agency investigations. These labs perform DNA tests, identification of controlled substances, firearms analysis, fingerprint identification and trace evidence examination as well as, polygraphs and crime scene investigation. In 2019, nearly 25,000 new cases were submitted for analysis.

Making Sure School Buses Are Safe
Making sure your children get to school safely is another priority of ISP. Every year before school starts, troopers inspect every school bus in use throughout the state. They check the frame and also make sure all lights, stop arms, engine components, brakes, tires, mirrors, emergency doors, floors are in working order. ISP inspects between 23,000 and 24,000 buses per year.

Don’t forget all the other tasks ISP does on a daily basis such as traffic enforcement, crash investigation, crime prevention, criminal apprehension and more. To learn more about ISP, check out their website at www.isp.IN.gov.

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