County welcomes influx of newly trained officers

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Patrolman Anthony Butz and Patrolman Nicole Higham, Greenfield Police Department

HANCOCK COUNTY — The recent basic session graduation class from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy graduated several new law enforcement officers into the county who are ready to serve.

Multiple departments from all around the county recently posted photos of the new officers welcoming them back from the 16 weeks of intense police officer training.

The vision for officials at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy is stated on their website — to have a forward focused academy dedicated to the development of law enforcement professionals. That adhere’s to their mission as being Indiana’s center for law enforcement education. The academy is the place where officers go to learn about setting and maintaining the standard for law enforcement and is a must for any officer wanting to serve in the state.

This summer’s group was part of Basic Class 227 and officially graduated on August 19 after starting classes back in May. The class includes officers from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, Greenfield Police Department, Fortville Police Department, McCordsville Police Department, New Palestine Police Department and the Shirley Police Department.

Officials from the GPD graduated two new officers, patrolman Nicole Higham and patrolman Anthony Butz, who return to streets this week. Chief of Police Brian Hartman said he was pleased and proud to welcome them back from what he called important officer training.

“This is where an officer earns their credentials to be a certified law enforcement officer in the State of Indiana,” Hartman said.

Through the 16 week course, Hartman noted officers are given a foundation to build upon in several different areas of law enforcement that include things like criminal and traffic law, search and seizure, defensive tactics, firearms, emergency vehicle operations, morals and ethics classes and much more.

“Officers are then required by the Department to pass a 16-week Field Training Course,” Hartman said. “Once they have successfully passed our Field Training Course they are then released on single patrol.”

Through the 16-week course, which cost nearly $550 per officer, Hartman said the officers are expected to stay in Plainfield where the facility is located, through each week worth of classes, and they are expected to have a passing score in all subjects tested.

“They must pass a physical fitness test to enter as well as pass a physical fitness test to graduate,” Hartman said.

In addition to the GPD welcoming back two newly trained officers, officials with the HCSD welcomed back deputy Ben Walker. Officials with the MPD said officer Philip French is part of the recent graduating class and are glad he took part. The FPD graduated officer Phillip Allen, the NPPD graduated officer Trey Boor and the SPD graduated officer Zachary Fuhrman.

“I support ILEA and the vision of standardized entry level training,” MPD chief Paul Casey said in an email to the Daily Reporter.

The first basic law enforcement training course was conducted in the summer of 1969 at Indiana Central College, now the University of Indianapolis. In December of 1969, the Academy moved to the Indiana University campus at Bloomington, and remained there until January 1, 1975. On January 6, 1975 training began in the new facility at Plainfield.

The Academy leadership states they have encouraged logical overhauls in curricula, programs and structural renovations as well as adding state-of-the-art programs such as comprehensive domestic violence/sexual assault interdiction training, distance learning, and Basic Course Trainers to assist with the training of new recruits.