Jasper welcomes three new police officersJanuary 18, 2018
By LEANN BURKE
JASPER — Jasper Police Department officers lined the back wall of the council chambers Wednesday in support of three new officers sworn into the department during the Common Council meeting.
Michael Conrad, Joshua Greener and Caleb Lindeman joined the force, bringing Jasper Police Department’s total force to 25.
“It’s an honor having you guys on the police department,” Police Chief Nathan Schmitt told the new officers. “And it’s an honor for you guys to be on the police department.”
The three new officers are part of an effort to grow the Jasper Police Department as the city’s population grows. With the three new officers, the Jasper Police Department can add a second full-time detective to the force, as well as a full-time narcotics officer. Hiring the three new officers will allow current officers to transition into the detective and narcotics officer rolls.
Hiring the new officers came after the council had to manipulate funds to cover one of the salaries. Two of the salaries were covered in the police department’s regular budget, but the city hoped to use funds from a Community Oriented Policing Services grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to cover the salary of the full-time narcotics officer. Schmitt learned in December, however, that the department was not awarded a grant.
Recognizing the city’s need to combat the drug epidemic, the council voted at its December meeting to use funds from the cigarette tax to fund the salary for 2018. For 2019, the salary will be built into the police department’s budget.
After the three were sworn in, Schmitt shared some advice he was given when he was first sworn in: Do your best, do what’s right, and always treat people the way you want to be treated.
“That’s served me well as a police officer, and it should serve you well, too,” Schmitt said.
Conrad, Greener and Lindeman all expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to serve as a Jasper police officer.
“It’s going to be an honor to serve the city,” Conrad said. Jasper will be the first department Conrad has served.
Lindeman previously served in Ferdinand and said he’s looking forward to serving Jasper. Greener previously served in Henderson, Kentucky.
“I’d like to bring all that I learned from there ... back to Jasper and hopefully be a good resource to you guys and be able to serve the community very well,” Greener said.
Each council member welcomed the officers to the force and wished them well.
“You guys, all of you, be careful out there,” Councilman Earl Schmitt said. “I hope I can see you in (city hall) instead of out on the streets (pulling him over).”
All three new officers are originally from Dubois County.
Greener is from Ferdinand, and graduated from Forest Park High School in 2007. Lindeman is from Jasper, and graduated from Jasper High School in 2005. Conrad is also from Jasper, and graduated from Jasper High School in 2010.
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