-- — Chief Stan Holt believes Batesville police officers have the ability to “work with the community on community issues.”
This is one of the department’s strengths, he says. “Whether it is dealing with drug issues or just working as partners on other issues, our officers do a great job. We have a pretty diverse group. Some excel in criminal investigations or on patrols. Some do extremely well with public relations or giving talks on different topics.”
Three recently received promotions: Detective Mike Benjamin was promoted to detective sergeant, Sgt. Doug Wolfer to lieutenant and Patrolman Danny Hamilton to sergeant.
“As chief, I need to look at the potential of every officer and which area each excels in.”
Two have been given new assignments. Patrolman Blake Roope, former Batesville Community School Corp. resource officer, “did an excellent job in that position, but he also does a nice job in criminal investigations and out on the street.” He will switch to duties in the patrol/criminal investigations division.
Patrolman Jamie Straber will take over the SRO position at the beginning of the school year, and “she will do a good job as well.”
Straber has also been trained in RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) and “has put on a few classes at Safe Passage and Southeastern Indiana YMCA.” The nationally recognized program “is geared toward working with young women with self-defense.”
Staber and Patrolman Jerry Taul make up the bike patrol.
Enforcement efforts have been stepped up, and there are more aggressive patrols, “especially geared toward stopping illegal drug use, and we’ve had pretty good success in that area over the past year.
“One of the big things we’re excited about is the K-9 program.” Hamilton and his new partner, Jinx, a Dutch shepherd, are busy sniffing out illegal drugs.
“In the future, we hope to build on the foundation we have so far .... (and) continue to go after the drug dealers and the drugs impacting the youth in our community.”
With the June retirement of Lt. Gandy Browning, who was with the Batesville Police Department for 22 years, Holt is in the process of hiring another officer and hopes to have one on duty by the fall.
Diane Raver can be contacted at 812-934-4343, Ext. 114; or diane.raver@ batesvilleheraldtribune.com.