In his 10th year in law enforcement, Brent Turner has made his way to the top.
The Crothersville Town Council recently appointed the 39-year-old to be interim chief of the town’s police department. His first day in that role was Friday.
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Former Chief Richard Hanlin left to accept a deputy marshal position with the Spencer Police Department.
Turner has been with the Crothersville force since 2012. He was a reserve officer for a year and a half before becoming full time.
He said being appointed interim chief means a lot to him.
“I was kind of starstruck there a little bit,” he said of the council making the appointment at a special meeting earlier this week. “I’m grateful for their decision.”
After nearly 20 minutes of discussion during that meeting, the council voted 4-1 to appoint Turner. Councilman Chad Wilson cast the lone nay vote.
Council members unanimously voted to pay Turner $18 per hour.
He will remain interim chief until January, when the council makes various appointments, including police chief.
The department now has three full-time officers, including Turner. But one of them soon will be heading to the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and won’t be able to be on patrol in the town. Turner, however, has two reserve officers who can help cover shifts.
Earlier this year, the council decided to add a fourth full-time officer. Council President Lenvel “Butch” Robinson said the board will look through applications to fill that spot.
Turner said one of his first goals is to get the department back at full force.
“I look forward to trying to get us another good officer on,” he said. “And reserves, I’ve got a couple that have already came knocking since I took over. They are really wanting to work for me, and I think they would do Crothersville justice.”
Turner, an Austin native, started in law enforcement in 2006 as a reserve with the Medora Police Department. After a year there, he was a reserve officer with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department until Hanlin talked him into helping out in Crothersville.
“Since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to get into it,” Turner said of being a police officer. “I’ve got family members that are in law enforcement.”
He said Hanlin was a good leader of the department and played a key role in updating equipment, vehicles and technology. That includes full-time officers recently receiving body cameras.
Turner said the department will continue to seek funds for body cameras for reserve officers.
“We’re still working on that,” he said. “I’d like to get as many as I can because in the future, we may put on a few more reserves to help out.”
Hanlin said he decided earlier this month to resign from Crothersville when Spencer Town Marshal Richard Foutch called and offered him a job.
“This decision was very hard to make because I have made Crothersville my home and will have to uproot many things and relocate,” Hanlin said.
“I also had a lot going on with the Crothersville Police Department, and as chief, leaving a good job already is hard to do,” he said. “I lived in the community and have made a lot of friends and contacts with people I respect.”
He said Spencer has a bigger department with nine full-time officers, 10 reserves, a K-9, a secretary and two chaplains.
“I’m looking forward to moving into a bigger police department and town that is a good department and is well respected also,” Hanlin said. “There are some good officers there that are welcoming me to the department. I look forward on making this transition there and to get started working with officers and town officials there.”
Hanlin is a native of Portland, Indiana, but relocated to Greenwood and lived there most of his life, graduating from Center Grove High School in 1990. He graduated from Vincennes University in 1993 with an associate degree in criminal justice and then completed the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy the next year.
During his career, Hanlin has worked for police departments in Prince’s Lakes, Whiteland, New Whiteland and Brooklyn. He also had worked part time as an officer with Cordry-Sweetwater Conservancy District for a couple of years.
In May 2009, he was hired in Crothersville. He was chief for five years.
“The accomplishments I have done, in my opinion, are making the department more professional from updating the equipment, such as getting laptops, vehicles, radar units for each car, getting new firearms for all of the officers and getting the town council to hire a fourth full-time officer, which we have never had here,” he said.
Hanlin said he also helped update the policy and procedure handbook for all officers to follow and assisted with finding funding for body cameras.
“I have made the department active where officers are out more on patrol and working with the citizens of the community so there is a better working relationship so people can feel safe and be more willing to call us for anything they may need,” he said.
Hanlin said he hopes to see Turner continue moving the department forward.
“The department needs to continue to be active to keep the safety of people in the community,” he said. “The chief will need to work with town officials to keep the department up with officers and equipment and need to be active in the community to have a good rapport with town citizens. I want the community to trust the officers on the department and to feel safe living here.”
Name: Brent Turner
Education: Austin High School (1995); Indiana Law Enforcement Academy (2014)
Occupation: Recently appointed interim chief of the Crothersville Police Department; member of the Crothersville Parks Board
Family: Wife, Kaylee; daughter, Carlieann