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'Right To Resist' Law Changes Ind. Deputies' Uniforms

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Marion County Sheriff's Office ordered all deputies serving civil and criminal warrants back into uniform in the wake of the newly enacted Right to Resist law.

Previously, deputies were allowed to wear plainclothes when serving warrants.

The change in wardrobe offers deputies a higher degree of visibility, while at the same time, reducing the risk that a homeowner or wanted subject may mistake the law enforcement officer's identity, RTV6's Jack Rinehart reported.

"We don't want people to mistake us for vigilantes," said Maj. Reggie Roney. "We want them to know that what we're doing is lawful. Our concern is to protect the officer's safety.”

Safety of law enforcement officers across the state has become paramount after the passage of Senate Bill No. 1. That measure gives homeowners the right to use whatever force is necessary, including deadly force, to repel a perceived unlawful entry into their residence.

The Indiana State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police issued a bulletin on Friday to law enforcement agencies across the state. The bulletin advised that the Indiana FOP will be monitoring all reported incidents of injury following the passage of the bill.

"It's critical that all law enforcement officers report all incidents arising out of the new law, including threats, altercations and injuries to sworn personnel and civilians alike," said Tim Downs, Indiana FOP President. “You must continue to exercise extreme caution in the performance of your duties when entering upon another's property, or making entry into a dwelling.”

Marion County sheriff's deputies serve upwards of 50,000 civil and criminal warrants annually. At least half of those are served on felons wanted for crimes of violence.

"Serving warrants is dangerous no matter what," Roney said.

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