New officer hopes to make city ‘safer for everybody’



JASPER — Helping others has always been important to Seth Eckstein.

As a teenager, the Jasper native worked as a slide attendant and lifeguard at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari. He continued lifeguarding throughout college, and three years ago, he joined the city’s volunteer fire department.

“It’s just kind of in my nature to help people,” said Eckstein, 31.

He’s always respected law enforcement. After hearing from friends who joined several police forces, his interest was piqued. Now, he is in line to become the newest member of the Jasper Police Department.

“[I’m] looking forward to getting started,” he said. “Excited for the opportunity. And certainly grateful that they chose me.”

The Jasper Board of Public Works & Safety extended Eckstein a conditional offer of employment at its meeting last week. Following a medical and psychological evaluation, a swearing-in ceremony will be set, and from there, he’ll be scheduled to attend training at the Southwest Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Evansville.

Since moving back to Jasper in 2012 following time at Indiana State University, Eckstein has worked in the hospitality furniture industry. He’s done manufacturing work and project management at Kimball Hospitality; quality control work at Jasper Group; and quality control, customer service and project management work at United Furniture and Seating.

He thought the time was right for a career shift when he applied back in December. He said he hasn’t met a member of the local force who isn’t a solid citizen, and he’s looking forward to contributing to the team and giving back to the community.

“I was born and raised in Jasper,” Eckstein said. “I have a lot of love for this area, and I just want to help out. And, hopefully, at the end of each shift, I can go home feeling like I made the place a little safer and better for everybody.”

He believes he brings a good skill set to the table. He is a trained firefighter, and through his time with the Jasper Volunteer Fire Department, he has been trained as an emergency medical responder.

“I think that’s certainly an asset that will be helpful for the Jasper [Police] Department,” he said.

Eckstein has been passionate about going out and getting extra certifications because he believes it makes him a better asset to the community. He plans to be a sponge when he starts working full time, absorbing all he can, and offering a fresh perspective on the job.

His ultimate goal is to advance through the ranks, but for now, he just wants to learn the ropes.

Eckstein lives in Jasper with his wife, Jessica (Ernst), and the couple’s 17-month-old daughter, Charlotte.

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