FORTVILLE — Fortville Police Department Officer Doug Durbin didn’t realize it right away, but he has a passion for law enforcement. After working many years in the construction world, he traded in a tool belt for a police duty belt and path to public service, he said.

The dedication to the community that came with the swap has not gone unnoticed. Fortville and Hancock County officials said Durbin regularly puts in extra effort to help with investigations and attend to crime victims.

In recognition of his work, Durbin was honored this week with an Outstanding Law Enforcement Award from the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council. He was one of two officers to receive the recognition from the state’s board of prosecutors. He was nominated for the honor by Hancock County Prosecutor Brent Eaton and Chief Deputy Prosecutor Marie Castetter.

Durbin started a career in construction after leaving the Marine Corps, but in 2008, he started working as a reserve officer for the Fortville Police Department a few nights a week. Something about those nights on patrol brought him joy, he said, and a few years later he became the department’s eighth full-time member.

Durbin and his wife, Sherry, have lived in Fortville for about 15 years with their three children.

Now, he works as a detective for the Fortville department and has special training in investigating crimes against children. He handles all child sexual and physical abuse cases the department sees.

It was Durbin’s work with those types of criminal cases that got the attention of the prosecutor’s office, Eaton said.

Durbin always shows special compassion for young victims, and he takes extra time helping prosecutors prepare for those cases for trial, Eaton said. At one time, Durbin was scheduled to be on vacation, and instead of taking that time to be with his family, he met with prosecutors several times to help prepare for trial, Eaton said.

Durbin said those actions are no different from what he would do for any victim.

“If there is anything I can do to help, I’m going to do it,” Durbin said. “This is my passion. This is what I want to be doing for the rest of my life.”

Chief Bill Knauer said Durbin has been an excellent addition to the department.

“Doug is a really caring person, especially when it comes to victims of crimes,” he said. “It takes a special person to listen (to victim’s stories).”

Knauer said his officers all have good working relationship with the prosecutor’s office, and the successes of both offices have come from their ability to work as a team. Durbin personifies that teamwork, and his award is proof of that, Knauer said.

“It says something about his dedication to his work and his commitment to the police department,” he said. “It’s a great recognition for him and the department as a whole.”

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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.