What is an IMPD Substation? What is it not?

by | Jul 9, 2021

What is the IMPD Substation at Shadeland Station?

The substation was established in 2020 by the North Shadeland Alliance. Our goal is to draw a police presence to the area to help reduce crime. It is designed to give officers respite during their shifts. Because an officer’s car is like his or her office, it is similar to getting up from your desk to go to a common space or break room. The substation provides a place for officers to congregate, decompress after a stressful run, write reports, build camaraderie, grab a snack or drink, heat up their lunch and eat safely, and use the restroom safely.

How often do officers use the substation?

The amount of time officers spend at the substation can change from day to day depending on their run load, but we know by our own time spent here interacting with officers, as well as how many supplies we go through, that the substation is visited regularly and often by North District officers.

Is it open to the public? Can I speak to a police officer, file a report, or conduct other police business?

The substation is specifically a place for North District officers and is not open to the public. Do not knock on the door; officers will not answer or may not even be inside. It is not there to patrol or provide security for the shopping center or surrounding businesses. It is not a staffed police station. If you have an emergency or need to conduct official police business, please call 911 or the IMPD non-emergency number, (317) 327-3811, or visit North District headquarters located at 3120 East 30th Street.

Who pays for and maintains the substation?

The North Shadeland Alliance maintains the substation. It is certainly a team effort but we have one dedicated person, Jodie Shrum, whose focus is to manage the space, coordinate donations, and make sure all is running smoothly. Our time is 100% voluntary.

  • The space and utilities are donated by the property owner.
  • The interior was furnished by community donations.
  • Exterior signage was paid for by community donations.
  • The space is cleaned every few weeks by an area resident.
  • ALL food and drinks are generously provided by residents in our community.

IMPD, nor the City of Indianapolis, does not fund nor manage the substation in any way; it is 100% a community-driven effort.

How can you show your support?

It is encouraging to see the community want to support the men and women who protect us. We hold the substation open at least once per month for the community to come and drop off donations (find these dates in our newsletter and on social media). We also have an active Amazon Wish List available for the community to purchase specific items to be shipped directly to us. Additionally, we are in need of financial contributions that help pay for cleaning, supplies like bottled water should we run out, and other incidental purchases that improve the function of the space. 

If you would like to contribute supplies, please fill out our online form and we will let you know how you can help! Residents also write cards and notes to share with the officers. These are very much appreciated.

 

Other Useful Information:

The Castleton United Methodist Church Substation

There is also a substation located at Castleton UMC, near the basketball court. You may see cars parked there as well. Both substations serve the same purpose: a place of respite for local officers. Some officers prefer one substation and some prefer the other. Neither is open to the public.

North Shadeland Alliance is not involved with the substation at Castleton United Methodist Church.

Police cars parked at the fire station on 75th Street

The police cars parked at the fire station belong to officers who either live out of the county or who do not wish to park their police cars in their own driveways. This is a common practice/partnership between fire and police departments in many cities, and you will likely see police cars parked at most fire stations in Indianapolis. IMPD policy allows officers to take their cars home, but they pay to use them off-duty. For officers who live outside Marion County, this fee is considerably more. For officers who do not want to pay that, they may choose to leave their car at a secure location (a fire station, for example) that is convenient to their commute. This means officers drive their personal vehicles to the fire station, get in their police car to work their shift, then return the police car to the fire station at the end of their shift.

 

One final note:

We hear many criticisms that the police are not “preventing” crime or that they should not be at the substation. We would encourage you to learn more about a police officer’s daily work. Talk to an officer or contact the department to conduct a ride-along with a patrol officer.

We do not need to explain why police officers across the country have grown increasingly cautious of their surroundings over the last several years. Everyone, including the police, deserve a safe place to sit down for a meal or use the restroom. We have heard directly from officers how much they appreciate the substation being available to them for these purposes and more. They have testified that it has been a tool to build camaraderie between officers on shifts, resulting in greater trust and safer backup.

Lastly, the inability of the public to knock and enter does not change or prohibit your access to the police. Please call 911 or the non-emergency line at (317) 327-3811 if you need assistance. IMPD patrols by “beats,” meaning that an officer who is assigned patrol in your location will be dispatched, perhaps even directly from inside the substation if appropriate.

We have grown discouraged by the rhetoric surrounding the substation and police on sites like Facebook and NextDoor. Of course, everyone has the right to express their opinions, but they are often uninformed and reckless.

There are many people working very hard on improving this area.

We share information in many places (NextDoor, Facebook, this website, and a very informative monthly newsletter) and we encourage everyone to PLUG IN if you want to know more, understand what’s happening in your community and change the future!

If you have any further questions or concerns, please fill out our contact form.

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