By Dan Spalding
While school funding and a wetlands bill have generated a lot of local attention in the current session of the Indiana General Assembly, something unique happened with unanimous support: Police reform.
On Thursday, April 1, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law a police reform and training bill that enjoyed widespread support from both Democrats and Republicans.
Holcomb signed House Bill 1006. Not a single lawmaker opposed the legislation. It even garnered applause and a standing ovation in the House, according to the Indy Star.
The bill requires officers to take de-escalation training, defines a “chokehold” and classifies it as an act of deadly force. The bill provides $70 million to repair and update the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy’s training facility.
It also establishes a procedure allowing the Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board to decertify an officer who commits misconduct. It also prohibits chokeholds under certain circumstances.
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PANDEMIC – If you think something magical is going to happen when the state’s mask mandate ends on Monday, you are kidding yourself.
While Kosciusko County has not recorded a new COVID-19 death in several weeks, it’s not over by a longshot.
That was evident on my Facebook page when I saw an update from a friend who said he’s struggling with the virus. He’s at home but admitted the virus is kicking his butt.
The weird part is that he recently received his first vaccine shot. Asked about the overlap, he said he believes he was infected shortly before getting the shot.
While there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s not over. Evidence shows there are spikes in the number of cases far and wide. You can bet I’ll continue wearing a mask when I’m in crowded indoor activities like shopping for the next month or so.
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STATE POLITICS – Indiana political parties have finalized their leadership lineup in recent weeks. Here is the breakdown:
Republican Party leadership continues with Kyle Hupfer as chair and newly appointed Secretary of State, Holli Sullivan, as vice-chair.
Dems chose Mike Schmuhl (former campaign manager for Pete Buttigieg’s presidential run) and Myla Eldridge for their top two positions.
Libertarian Party leaders chose Evan McMahon as chair. Lucy Brenton was chosen as the vice-chair.
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GOP FISH FRY – The Kosciusko County Republican’s Spring Fish Fry will be 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, April 7, at the Kosciusko County Fairgrounds. Indoor dining and drive-thru service will be available. Cost is $10 for adults and $6 for children ages 5 to 12.
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Dan Spalding is the editor at InkFreeNews.com.
He covers city government and politics and always welcomes your input.