Jasper Post announces trooper awards, retirement

By BILL POWELL
bpowell@dcherald.com

JASPER — Four troopers from the Indiana State Police’s Jasper Post recently received awards for service and an additional state police veteran in the district is hanging up his gun belt.

The local awardees include Trooper Kaitlyn Greene, who helped save a kayaker from drowning as he was being pulled into a culvert. Other honorees are Trooper Michael Allen, Trooper Noah Ewing and Trooper Shane Staggs. And saying goodbye to the force is Master Trooper Tom Campbell.

Trooper Greene

Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter presented Greene with a Life Saving Award for her role in saving a Spencer County man from drowning in February.

Greene is a Spencer County native and three-year veteran of the Indiana State Police. She graduated from the 74th Indiana State Police Recruit Academy in 2014 and was assigned to the Jasper Post to patrol primarily Spencer County.

Greene also serves on the South Zone Dive Team as an underwater search and rescue diver.

In February, Greene was patrolling Orchard Road near Spencer County Road 400N when she was frantically waved down by the wife of a kayaker who was nearly submerged underwater and clinging to a metal culvert pipe.

It was very much a case of the right person being at the right place at the right time.

Greene had spent the first part of the day doing pool training at Pike Central High School. She was closing out her shift patrolling flooded areas and specifically steered toward the area east of Richland City.

“I honestly expected a crash in that area just because it’s such a bad area with all of the water and everything,” Greene said at the time.

The husband and wife she encountered had been kayaking in an open field that was flooded, police said. Because of the tremendous amount of recent rainfall, the husband’s kayak was swept through a nearby culvert. He was able to grab the top of the pipe before he was swept underwater and through the culvert, police said.

“His wife was getting worried because she couldn’t lift him out,” Greene said in February. “She said she just kept praying for something to happen and then, she said, ‘I turned around and you showed up.’”

Police reported the kayaker was clinging to life when Greene arrived, only able to keep his head and arms above water. The kayaker’s legs and upper torso at this point were submerged underwater and inside the culvert.

Greene, who had her underwater search and rescue gear with her, quickly grabbed her life jacket and water rescue throw bag. She initially tried to place her only life jacket on the victim, but was unsuccessful. Because of the speed of the current, the victim was barely able to hold onto the pipe with both hands. Greene was ultimately able to secure her throw bag rope under the victim’s armpits and around his back.

Greene was becoming concerned that the victim would not be able to hold onto the culvert much longer as he showed signs of fatigue. Fortunately, police said, two unknown motorists who were passing by stopped to assist Greene. She instructed one citizen to hold the rope attached to the victim while she pulled the kayaker from the pipe and to safety. The second good Samaritan held onto Greene so she wouldn’t fall headfirst into the water.

Greene treated the victim at the scene for cold water exposure while Spencer County Emergency Medical Services personnel were en route. The victim was treated and released.

Trooper Allen

Allen received the Trooper of the District Award for the Jasper Post and the Trooper of the Year Award for the Indiana State Police.

Allen is an Orange County native and five-year veteran of the Indiana State Police. He graduated from the 72nd Indiana State Police Recruit Academy on Dec. 12, 2012.

After graduating, Allen was assigned to the Jasper Post where he patrols primarily Orange County.

In addition to his patrol duties, Allen serves as a hostage crisis negotiator, Honor Guard rifleman, field training officer, clandestine lab technician and is a former member of the Tactical Intervention Platoon.

Allen is also an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

Trooper Ewing

Ewing received the Jasper district’s Top OWI Award for his efforts in keeping Indiana roadways safe by apprehending 70 impaired drivers in 2017.

Ewing is a Pennsylvania native and two-year veteran of the Indiana State Police. He graduated from the 75th Indiana State Police Recruit Academy in November of 2015.

After graduating, Ewing was assigned to the Jasper Post where he patrolled primarily Orange County.

Ewing was recently selected to serve on the Jasper District All Crimes Policing Team, which focuses on criminal and traffic interdiction.


Trooper Staggs

Staggs received a commendation award from Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter for his efforts in investigating a double homicide in Orange County that occurred June 23, 2014.

The shooting north of Paoli left two men dead, a third injured and investigators working to find those responsible.

Cory Michael Harris, 25, of 2952 S. Log Creek Road, Paoli, who suffered a gunshot wound to his head, died the evening of the shooting at University of Louisville Hospital, according to Indiana State Police. Nicholas Fields, 56, of 2350 N. Orange County Road 200W, had been pronounced dead earlier in the day after being found shot in his residence 3 miles north of Paoli.

A third victim, Daniel Smitson, 29, 3001 S. Unionville Road, Paoli, who had a gunshot wound to his mouth, was hospitalized.

Orange County 911 had received a call from a passerby requesting medical assistance for a male lying near the roadway at Fields’ 2350 N. Orange County Road 200W address, which is also known as Sandy Hook Road.

Emergency medical crews arrived to find Harris down, Smitson walking wounded outside the residence and Fields shot inside his home.

Within a week, three men were in custody and investigators were saying the suspects went to Fields’ rural mobile home thinking they were going to get methamphetamine.

The commendation said Staggs built a case and was able to obtain a confession that resulted in the arrest and conviction of all three suspects. Due to the solid foundation of the case, the commendation said, two of the defendants never went to trial. They accepted plea agreements that resulted in a sentence of 100 years for one and 40 years for the other. The last defendant chose to go to trial, which resulted in a guilty verdict and a sentence of 195 years in prison.

Staggs, is a 2005 graduate of Paoli Junior-Senior High School and a 2007 Vincennes University graduate with an associate’s degree in law enforcement. Prior to joining the Indiana State Police, he served as a police officer for the Town of Paoli.

He is an Orange County native, and nine-year veteran of the Indiana State Police. He graduated from the 69th Indiana State Police Recruit Academy on Dec. 18, 2008. After graduating the Recruit Academy, Staggs was assigned to the Jasper Post where he patrolled primarily Orange County. Staggs was promoted to Detective for the Jasper Post in September of 2012.

Staggs, attributed his award to the hard work and assistance he received from the troopers at the Jasper Post, sheriff’s deputies from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and officers from the Paoli Police Department, along with the invaluable outreach from the community.

Master Trooper Campbell

Campbell has retired from the Indiana State Police after 34 years of service, according to the Jasper Post.

He is a Spencer County native who graduated from the 41st Indiana State Police Recruit Academy on Dec. 25, 1983. After graduating, Campbell was assigned to the Jasper Post where he patrolled primarily Spencer County. In December of 1993, Campbell achieved the rank of Senior Trooper and in December of 1998 Campbell rose to the rank of Master Trooper, which he held until his retirement.

Campbell was one of ISP’s first high performance vehicle troopers as he drove a Mustang/Camaro commission from 1988-1999. Campbell was one of the state police’s top five marksmen with his .357 magnum revolver in his earlier years. He logged 1.5 million safe driving miles and was named Jasper District’s 2013 Trooper of the Year, according to the Post.

Campbell has been married for more than 30 years to his wife Renee. He and Renee have two children, Christopher and Jessica. All are active members of St. Bernard Catholic Church, according to the state police.

The Jasper Post said Campbell wanted to thank Tim and Barb Kelly, Donnie and Debbie Payne along with the citizens of Spencer County for treating him and Renee “like family.”

Campbell has spent the last 25 years working with at-risk youth in the community by being a part of the Indiana State Police Youth Camp, which is held each year at Lincoln State Park.

Campbell mentioned that he had a long and rewarding career with the Indiana State Police and hopes to continue to be an active member of their community and Spencer County, according to the Jasper Post.




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