Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

May 13, 2014

Teamwork helps solve cases

Diane Raver The Herald-Tribune
The Batesville Herald-Tribune

---- — As National Police Week is celebrated through May 17, we recognize the men and women who serve and protect our communities every day.

In Batesville, that includes a dedicated group of officers who work together to keep the citizens safe.

“The biggest strength of this department is being able to work as a team to tackle the issues at hand,” reports Chief Stan Holt. “We have very well-trained officers and have a high standard of professionalism.

“Our agency has really progressed over the years .... Those who come on as young officers with our department spend 12 weeks with field training officers. They rotate through three seasoned officers, who have different strengths, and they ride with them. They can learn so much from them.

“We have such a diverse group. Some are experienced in criminal investigations, others in drug investigations or a variety of other things.”

Officers must participate in 24 hours of inservice each year, including training in firearms, emergency vehicle operation and defense tactics, he reveals. “My job as chief is to try to find the very best training for each person .... We also have several officers who are instructors.”

Holt says his department works very well with other members of the criminal justice system. The county “prosecutors are part of our team. When we get involved in a big case, they are involved from Day One. The same thing is true with the Indiana State Police and sheriffs’ departments. We have to work as a team to get these cases solved.

“We reach out to neighboring agencies to see if they’ve had similar cases .... One of the biggest concerns of citizens is the drug activity. Looking back at the arrests, it was our agency working with the prosecutors’ offices, sheriffs’ offices and ISP troopers to solve them.”

There have been changes through the years, the chief recalls. “More and more training is required to do this job. There has been more activity going on, more criminal cases .... We’ve added some programs. We have a school resource officer. There’s a K-9 program, and a big part of that is public relations. It helps us take the drugs off the streets. We have put on programs at the schools, anything to work through barriers. Over the years, we have built working relationships with the community.

“We’re part of the Coalition for a Drug-Free Batesville, which is working with various sectors of the community. We had our first National Night Out last year, which helped bring the community together to take a stand against drugs.”

Holt adds, “I think we have a very progressive, professional agency that recognizes the importance of working with citizens to tackle the issues.”

Diane Raver can be contacted at diane.raver@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 114.

Chief Stan Holt Years of service: 22 with BPD Special training or areas of expertise: FBI National Academy and Indiana Crime Scene Investigators Course graduate, hostage negotiator Assistant Chief Mike Benjamin Years of service: Seven with BPD, 12 in law enforcement Special training or areas of expertise: Cell phone forensic examiner, hostage negotiator Lt. Doug Wolfer Years of service: 19 with BPD, 29 in law enforcement Special training or areas of expertise: General and firearms instructor, field training officer Sgt. Danny Hamilton Years of service: Eight with BPD, nine in law enforcement Special training or areas of expertise: K-9 handler, general and Stops (high-risk traffic stops) instructor, field training officer Cpl. Dave Abel Years of service: 17 with BPD, 19 in law enforcement Special training or areas of expertise: General and emergency vehicle operations instructor, department and field training officer Patrolman Jerry Taul Years of service: 13 with BPD Special training or areas of expertise: Crime scene investigator, general and Taser instructor, National Forensics Academy graduate Patrolman Chris Smith Years of service: Seven with BPD, eight in law enforcement Special training or areas of expertise: Crime scene investigator, general and defense tactics instructor, Indiana Crime Scene Investigators Course graduate Detective Blake Roope Years of service: Six with BPD, 11 in law enforcement Special training or areas of expertise: Criminal investigations, field training officer, Indiana school safety specialist Patrolman Jamie Straber Years of service: Six with BPD Special training or areas of expertise: School resource officer, Rape Aggression Defense instructor, Indiana school safety specialist, National Association of School Resource Officers Patrolman/Detective Ryan Metcalf Years of service: Five and a half with BPD Special training or areas of expertise: Criminal investigations, general instructor Patrolman Mike Manus Years of service: One and a half with BPD Patrolman Brad Wessel Years of service: One with BPD, four in law enforcement Special training or areas of expertise: General, Taser and OC (pepper spray) spray instructor K-9 Jinx Years of service: Two with BPD