By Frank Denzler
---- — In recent months, the Rushville Police Department has been required to replace a number of departing officers to the force. In nearly every case, the departing officer left for employment with a different law enforcement department or agency. Concerns are the benefits offered and promotion availabilities within the department are limited in nature. It is a lengthy and costly process to hire a law enforcement officer. Unless the individual has a previous law enforcement training and background, it costs roughly $10,000 for a new hire to attend the 16 week training program at Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.
Currently, the department is entering the final phases of yet another hiring process to replace Randy Meek.
Following a six-year career with the RPD, Meek left to become a deputy with the Rush County Sheriff's Department. During the final two years with the RPD, Meek served in the capacity of detective and investigator. According to Chief of Police Craig Tucker, due to the inexperience of his young department, he has sought a means to better prepare officers for promotions and investigative roles in the RPD.
During a recent board of works meeting, Tucker obtained permission to hire a part-time “special officer.” The individual will have an extensive law enforcement background, be familiar with investigations and serve both as a training officer and mentor to the RPD.
According to Tucker, the position will be temporary in nature and it's anticipated that following roughly 12 to 18 months, a well-trained investigator will be promoted from within the department.
“By bringing a person of this nature on board on a part-time basis, will give us the latitude to send our investigator in training to various training opportunities as a means to pick up whatever training he will need and there will be no disruption of service to the Rushville community,” Tucker said.
He continued by saying that a number of nearby law enforcement departments offer training that can and will be utilized by the RPD.
“We want to make sure we have a well-rounded police officer and one that is well versed in criminal investigations so that he is well suited for the detective and investigation position. It is kind of a new academic approach to training and developing officers in the department,” Tucker said.
Tucker, Rushville Mayor Mike Pavey and others have sought a means to retain officers currently employed by the RPD while providing an environment that allows for advancement within the department.
“It will be interesting to see how this works out, but I am confident that by next week we will know more, such as individual we are looking at to fill the part-time position, time frames and a possible start date for the 'special officer,”' Tucker said in conclusion.
Contact: Frank Denzler @ 765.932.2222 x106.