News and Tribune

March 27, 2014

Clark County Sheriff’s Office gets three new deputies

Rookie officers sworn in, off to academy


JEFFERSONVILLE — Three former Clark County jail corrections officers were sworn in as sheriff’s deputies Thursday morning.

Barret Cook, of Memphis, and Charles Scott and Bradley Benton, both of Jeffersonville, each raised their hands and took an oath administered by Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden during the swearing-in ceremony.

The three were selected from 45 candidates who originally showed interest in the positions.

The new officers will soon depart to Plainview, Ind., for a 16-week law enforcement academy.

The three men said they have been preparing for several months to enter the academy and are eager to return to Clark County and begin their duties as patrol officers.

“I have always wanted to serve the community and help people, from little kids to grown ups,” Benton said, adding he is motivated to help the public no matter how small or large the problem.

The men are the most recent additions to the 36-person agency, including Rodden, that now has one vacancy.

Rodden said the three men are the department’s first deputies hired in nearly two years.

He had not expected to make any additional hires before the end of his term in January 2015, saying four deputies entered retirement since 2013.

Rodden said he is confident in the new officers, and that he would like to hire even more.

“The FBI recommends that you have two officers per 1,000 population, and we have approximately 30,000 people in the unincorporated areas of the county,” Rodden said. “By what the FBI recommends, we should have 60 officers.”

He said sheriffs virtually everywhere must learn to successfully operate their agencies below the FBI recommendations, as many counties don’t have the budgets to meet the standard.

He said the Clark County Sheriff’s Office has had 36 deputies during his entire tenure as sheriff.

Before the close of the brief ceremony, Rodden stressed to the new hires the importance of treating all members of the public with respect while working as officers of the law.

“I think it is very important that new, young police officers know what they are facing, and what we expect of them,” he said. “You can’t really expect people to perform in any kind of job, in my opinion, unless you give them expectations.”

Rodden said Benton, Scott and Cook’s experience working as corrections officers in the Clark County jail helped them set themselves apart from other candidates.

“All these guys worked in the jail, and, to me, that is invaluable experience.” he said. “You learn the suspects. You learn the inmates. That is so much of what you deal with on the outside.”

Rodden said the rookie officers are now challenged with learning how to interact with the average citizens while on patrol — a task, he called, “the most important part of job.”