Mayor Joe Hogsett announced Randal Taylor will be the next chief of police for Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) during a press conference Dec. 31.
Taylor is replacing Bryan Roach, who became chief in 2017 and announced his retirement earlier this month.
Taylor did not try to sidestep the crime issues Indianapolis has been experiencing, including record-setting homicide numbers, and throughout his remarks he emphasized IMPD won’t be able to stop or solve every crime.
“We can’t police our way out of these things,” Taylor said. “We have to change the minds and hearts of those who are willing to commit these crimes.”
IMPD Chief Randal Taylor (right) embraces Mayor Joe Hogsett (left) at a Dec. 31 press conference announcing Taylor’s appointment to lead the department. (Photo/Tyler Fenwick)
The city’s crime rate has been on the rise for the past five years, a trend that has disproportionately affected the Black community. In 2018, 117 of the 159 murder victims in Indianapolis were Black.
“We have to be honest with the statistics,” Taylor said. “Most of our murders have Black people as victims.”
Taylor emphasized the need to enhance community partnerships to curb the city’s violent crime rates and said being a “simple” man will hopefully benefit the department’s operations and relationship with the community
“We have to do better as a community to provide hope,” Taylor said. “We need to figure out what we can give, and what is available.”
Taylor, who has served since 2016 as part of IMPD’s executive leadership team, began his career in law enforcement with the Champaign (Illinois) Police Department in 1987. He joined the Marion County Sheriff’s Department in 1993.
Taylor has experience in investigations for IMPD’s adult sex crimes and child abuse units and was appointed to commander of community affairs in 2012.
“As someone who’s spent so much time in Indianapolis neighborhoods and communities,” Hogsett said, “Chief Taylor understands the importance of the progress IMPD has made when it comes to diversity in our police force.”
Taylor also announced his assistant chief of police will be Chris Bailey, who was formerly deputy chief of investigations for IMPD before retiring in July. Bailey was chief of the Asheville (North Carolina) Police Department but resigned in September and returned to IMPD.
In order to build trust and relationships, Taylor assured that he would continue to be a visible figure in the community, including being there for the families of murder victims.
Becoming visibly emotional at times, Taylor told the story of his father-in-law, who was murdered in Fort Wayne years ago.
“Trust me when I tell you I understand what families go through when these kinds of things happen here,” he said.
Despite the admittedly tough road that is ahead of him as chief, Taylor said he remains optimistic about the changes that he would like to see during his tenure, including more resources for detectives and expanding investigations into cold cases.
Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick. Contact staff writer Breanna Cooper at 317-762-7848. Follow her on Twitter @BreannaNCooper.
New Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Randal Taylor speaks at a press conference Dec. 31 announcing his appointment. (Photo/Tyler Fenwick)