Local law enforcement adds new officersNovember 15, 2013
By BILL POWELL and CANDY NEAL
Herald Staff Writers
JASPER — More new officers soon will be seen in local police uniforms.
In the last month, five new police officers have joined local departments. The Dubois County Sheriff’s Department swore in a deputy Thursday evening and the Jasper Police Department, which added two officers last month, swore in two this morning.
The sheriff’s department’s newest deputy is an Ireland resident and former Ferdinand Police Department reserve officer who has wanted to help people since he was a boy.
Deputy Josh Smith, 25, was sworn in Thursday evening at the county courthouse by County Clerk Bridgette Jarboe as his wife, Lacey (Snyder) Smith, held the Bible for the ceremony.
Sheriff Donny Lampert and the Smiths’ family and friends were on hand as deputy Smith, the son of Mark and Jeannine Smith of Otwell, achieved his goal of becoming a full-time police officer. Smith replaces Sgt. Forrest Kieser, a 26-year department veteran who took a position with the Interact police records management company.
After being home-schooled, Smith earned an associate degree in criminal justice in 2009 from Vincennes University Jasper Campus. He had worked full time at Jasper Engines & Transmissions and part time as a Ferdinand reserve officer the last two and a half years while looking for a permanent job in law enforcement.
When there’s time, he enjoys camping and renovating the Ireland farmhouse that he and his wife call home.
“I’ve been really busy the last several years since I was working full time and doing the reserve thing, so I haven’t had much time for hobbies,” Smith confided at Thursday’s ceremony.
Lampert said any of the top candidates would have been a good hire, but Smith singled himself out to the sheriff’s department and merit board as the best after physical and mental testing and a round of interviews.
“That’s impressive,” Lampert told Smith’s family. “I’m very proud of the candidates we have.”
The new deputy did not just land a job, the sheriff said.
“It is a way of life,” Lampert told those at the swearing-in ceremony. “There may be times when he is not at family functions like mom and dad’s anniversary party.
“The rewards are when you get to see a little kid smile at you because you make them feel safe or when an inmate you work with and want to kick in the butt finally gets it and says, ”˜Wait a minute, I want to change my life.’"
On Monday, Smith will begin being paired with sergeants who are certified field training officers. In March, he will attend the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield.
Smith’s hiring keeps the sheriff’s department’s force at 17 deputies, plus the sheriff. Sixteen jail officers, plus a jail commander, staff the county security center.
This morning, the Jasper Police Department welcomed Dakota Foote and Grant Goffinet to the force. The officers, both 23, were sworn in by Clerk-Treasurer Juanita Boehm at City Hall after being appointed to the positions by Mayor Terry Seitz.
Foote’s fiancÃ©e, Kristie Bradshaw, pinned his badge on his uniform. A native of Fort Wayne, Foote moved to Jasper a week ago. He applied for the position after seeing a posting online and thought that Jasper would be great place for him and his future wife. They will marry in October.
“My fiancÃ©e and I were looking for a place to start a family,” Foote said after the ceremony. “So I came down and looked at the community and school system here. Jasper is more than we could ever ask for.”
Foote’s parents are Sheri and the late Fred Foote. His mother still lives in Fort Wayne.
Goffinet, of Jasper, was pinned by his wife, the former Mary Sharp, while their three daughters — Lillian, 4, Maggie, 3, and Sophia, 8 months — watched. Also watching were his parents, Kevin and Bridget (Heeke) Goffinet of Bristow, his grandparents and other family members and friends.
Goffinet is eager to start his duties.
“Every day I can go to work and feel like I am doing my community a service,” he said. “That will be something that I can be proud of for the rest of my life.”
Both Foote and Goffinet will go with fellow officer Greg Brescher to the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy on Monday. They expect to graduate March 14. Brescher was sworn in as a police officer Oct. 14 along with David Burger, who already has been to the police academy.
The additions bring Jasper’s force back to its full staff of 21 officers, which includes the chief.
Contact Bill Powell at email@example.com. Contact Candy Neal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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