A recent law, House Enrolled Act 1558, established the Indiana Crime Guns Task Force, and the Zionsville Police Dept. has been asked to participate.
In February, ZPD Chief Michael Spears and Zionsville Mayor Emily Styron announced their support for legislation that would establish a regional gun crimes task force.
Spears has been appointed to the task force’s executive board, which will direct and oversee it.
Through a selection process conducted by ZPD leadership, Officer Jacob Shelbourne will serve as Zionsville’s representative police officer. The Indiana Crime Gun Intelligence Center will reimburse the ZPD $75,000 per year for the officer.
In 2019, in response to increasing homicide rates and crime guns in Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Dept. launched the Crime Gun Intelligence Center to trace crime guns and identify suspects. In the first year, CGIC data helped the IMPD arrest approximately 350 violent criminals and remove 250 guns from criminals, according to a media release. The law aims to expand the CGIC by including counties surrounding Marion County.
The task force is a partnership with Boone, Marion, Hamilton, Hendricks, Hancock, Johnson and Shelby counties. The new legislation ensures law enforcement agencies from the counties will collaborate in tracing illegally obtained guns or ballistic evidence to solve gun-related crimes. The interagency collaboration will focus on the collection, management and analysis of crime gun evidence and data.
“Jurisdictional boundaries do not prevent gun violence and other serious crimes,” Spears stated in a media release. “This is a great opportunity for us because if we do have a problem, not only do we have the resources of our police department, but the resources of others in this group. We have a responsibility to work together with our neighbors to help reduce violence while concurrently improving the safety and security of Zionsville.”
Spears stated benefits of the task force include sharing technology, information and other resources; assigning additional enforcement and investigative personnel to assist with matters in and around Zionsville; and the opportunity for additional training for ZPD officers.