Tuesday, Governor Eric J. Holcomb completed one of his August 2020 commitments to improve equity, inclusivity and opportunity by launching a public disparity data portal. The data dashboard delivers a view into current equity gaps that exist in health, public safety, social services, education and workforce. The information reveals key areas the state will focus on to address disparities in our communities and monitor overall progress throughout the state.
“I’m committed to removing the obstacles that perpetuate inequities in our communities. We must understand where we are before we can take steps toward achieving a truly level playing field,” said Gov. Holcomb. “Being transparent during the process is critical if we’re going to move forward together.”
In an August 2020 statewide address, Gov. Holcomb announced his intention to create Indiana’s first-ever Chief Equity, Inclusion and Opportunity officer (CEIOO). He appointed Karrah Herring to the cabinet role in November 2020 and she started in February 2021. Currently, CEIOO Herring is focused on creating and implementing a strategic plan to drive change in government culture and operations. Resources and information on this cabinet agency can be found on its newly created website here. The website will also serve as an opportunity for the public to stay updated and connected with the CEIOO and provide a platform for the data portal.
“I’ve been connecting with stakeholders, community leaders, constituents and partners from across Indiana to better understand what resources and education are needed so that we can begin the journey toward systemic change,” Herring said. “The feedback I have received is the foundation of strategic initiatives my team is creating and implementing to move us toward opportunity and equity for all Hoosiers.”
Governor Holcomb also asked Commissioner of Higher Education Teresa Lubbers to work with DWD Director Fred Payne and the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet (GWC) to produce initial specific recommendations about how to create more opportunity for people of color by examining the state’s own workforce programs and policies. In response to that charge the GWC adopted recommendations at its meeting on Dec. 17, 2020, that included potential actions to ensure greater equity across the state’s talent development system. A copy of these recommendations can be found here.
Governor Holcomb also announced his commitment to protect all citizens and state troopers by mandating the use of body cameras for every frontline Indiana State Police trooper in 2021. As of today, 509 personnel out of the nearly 800 troopers are equipped with body cameras. The remaining state troopers are expected to receive the equipment by Sept. 30.
Finally, Gov. Holcomb also announced a comprehensive third-party review of Indiana state police and law enforcement academy curriculum and training at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA). Hillard Heintze was selected in October 2020. The review is near completion and findings will be issued in early fall.