Mundy hopes to make big impact on police force



JASPER — Elijah Mundy didn’t care for “The Law” as a teenager.

He’d hop on his skateboard and ride it from a drainage ditch on the outskirts of Jasper to Walmart on North Newton Street, an activity that brought with it a few run-ins with local law enforcement.

But he has grown up.

Mundy, 27, secured a spot on his hometown police force Tuesday afternoon when he was sworn in at Jasper City Hall in front of his family and fellow Jasper Police Department officers.

“Back then, I didn’t like ‘The Law,’” he reflected after the ceremony. “Now, I am ‘The Law.’ It’s kind of ... the whole thing flipped over completely. Did a whole 180.”

Police Chief Nathan Schmitt said Mundy will begin working with the department immediately. Today his safety training begins, tomorrow he will be fitted for various uniform articles, and he will soon begin patrolling roads with another officer before heading off to a 16-week-long police academy in May.

Mundy is the sixth officer the department has hired in the past 18 months.

Upon his graduation from Jasper High School in 2010, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps, where he trained and served as a radio operator for four years. That experience included stints in Afghanistan and California. He credited the time he spent away with shaping him up.

Since returning, he has worked as a team leader at Jasper Engines & Transmissions for four years.

“I’m kind of trying to bring that whole military aspect and discipline, but at Jasper Engines, they gave me a lot of leadership and communication skills,” Mundy explained of his background. “So, kind of trying to merge those two things.”

He is also looking forward to connecting with area youth in a way he couldn’t before.

“I’m hoping I can make a bigger impact in uniform versus just being some guy off the street,” he explained.

Mundy knew when his military career ended he wanted to be a law enforcement officer. But after submitting various competitive applications to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Indiana State Police and Dubois County Sheriff’s Department, he’d yet to lock down a career in the field.

Now the newest officer of the 25-member Jasper Police Department, he has finally found his match.

“It felt good,” he said in a phone interview before Tuesday’s swearing-in, reflecting on how he reacted to hearing he got the job. “It felt like, finally, a step forward. Once I get in there, I can figure out what specializations they have and what else I can do.”

Mundy is the son of Rod Mundy, who lives near Velpen, and Angela Slaninka of Jasper.

After Mundy took his oath, Schmitt praised the police department’s newest addition, and told him he should be proud to serve on the force.

“I think that you should be very proud, because every time we have a [hiring] process, it’s so special how the cream of the crop rises to the top,” Schmitt said. “And I think that’s a testament to you and your past, and what you’ve done to get to this point.”

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