Last February Zionsville Police Department Chief Michael Spears and Mayor Emily Styron announced support of legislation that would establish a regional gun crimes task force. The law establishing the Indiana Crime Guns Task Force (House Enrolled Act 1558) passed and the Zionsville Police Department (ZPD) has been asked to participate.
Chief Spears is appointed to the task force’s executive board which will direct and oversee the task force. 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 ZPD $75,000 per year for the assigned officer.
The task force is a partnership among Boone, Marion, Hamilton, Hendricks, Hancock, Johnson and Shelby counties. Law enforcement from these 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.
According to Chief Spears, there are many benefits of the task force including 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.
“Jurisdictional boundaries do not prevent gun violence and other serious crimes,” said Chief Spears. “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.”