Officers hired for security: City department brings in help at Schneck’s request

Three Crothersville police officers have joined the ranks of Seymour’s reserve officers to help provide security for Schneck Medical Center.

At the hospital’s request, Seymour Police Chief Bill Abbott recommended the board of public works and safety appoint Matt Browning, Chris Cooper and J.L. McElfresh as reserve officers. They were sworn in by Mayor Craig Luedeman during the Dec. 14 meeting.

Reserve officers serve as unpaid or volunteer manpower, providing police assistance and coverage when needed. They often are used by small communities to increase public safety.

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Seymour Police Department started its reserve officer program in 2014 and had four officers before the recent addition, Abbott said. He hopes to continue to increase that number.

Abbott said the three officers will be working at the hospital to help lessen the number of hours regular officers currently are working there.

Schneck has employed officers for at least the past five years, and they now are posted there 24/7, providing around-the-clock security, Abbott said. When working at Schneck, officers are paid by the hospital, not the city, he added. The hours are worked when officers are off-duty.

“For some of us, it’s the only avenue to get any overtime,” Abbott said.

Since officers often respond to the hospital to follow up on cases or investigate situations, Abbott said it made sense for Schneck to want someone there all the time.

“Sometimes we’re needed just to keep things from getting out of hand,” he said.

There are around 30 officers from Seymour Police Department who work at Schneck, along with four officers from Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and two from Brownstown Police Department.

“We’ve got some working as much as 10 shifts a month there,” Abbott said.

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.