The newly redesigned First Responder license plate from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) is now available for purchase as part of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) annual plate renewal process.
The new design features a colorful display of first responder personnel along with their respective emblems. Dartanyan Abney, the Vincennes University undergraduate who designed the new license plate, said he wanted to show the connection all first responders share.
“I wanted the design to show that they are side by side, that they are all in this together,” Abney said. “The work they do is not appreciated as much as it should be.”
Abney got involved designing the new First Responder plate after one of his friends, who is studying homeland security and public safety at Vincennes University, asked him to create a design for it. Abney began his designing by doing research on all the different first responder colors:
Blue-for police officers
Green-for conservation officers
Silver-for correction officers
Yellow-for dispatch personnel
White-for emergency medical services
“A lot of my close friends today went through the homeland security & public safety degree program, and I have friends who work in different areas of first response,” Abney said. “They showed me how diverse it was, and I just wanted the design to represent everybody.”
Revenue received from the sales of the First Responder license plate funds the Indiana Homeland Security Foundation, a foundation that offers financial support for critical local public safety needs across Indiana. Communities in Indiana can apply for Indiana Homeland Security Foundation grants that will help provide emergency responders with the resources needed to protect the people, property and prosperity in their area. In 2018, the Indiana Homeland Security Foundation distributed more than $250,000 across 46 different Indiana counties.
In addition to supporting local public safety projects, the Indiana Homeland Security Foundation promotes the importance of public safety careers through the Indiana Homeland Security Foundation Scholarship Program. The program, which provided a total of $20,000 in scholarship awards during 2018, is available to students interested in pursuing a career in public safety.
Hoosiers interested in showing support for public safety and first responder careers can purchase one online at https://www.in.gov/dhs/2363.htm. The First Responder license plate costs an extra $40, with $25 of that going directly to the Foundation and $15 to the BMV for administrative costs.