The University of Southern Indiana and the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office (VCSO) have announced that five deputies have been chosen for assignment to the USI campus. Four of these deputies began serving the campus on Wednesday, August 15 after receiving training from both the VSCO and USI. The fifth deputy will join the team in October. The announcement marks the implementation of an agreement signed between the two parties earlier this year.
“The top priority for this collaboration is the safety and well-being of the USI community. We have a strong track record of safety on this campus, but having these sworn deputies on duty full-time provides an extra layer of security to make our campus a safer place for everyone,” said Steve Bequette, director of USI Public Safety. “We have been grateful for the opportunity to work with the Sheriff’s Office over the years utilizing armed off-duty deputies as a supplement to the great work done by our Public Safety officers, and we are excited to officially welcome this new partnership and these deputies to the University and to our campus community.”
The USI Patrol Unit is a newly created unit within the Sheriff’s Office Operations Division. Deputies assigned to this unit will patrol the USI campus on a full-time basis. This is in addition to the comprehensive coverage provided by USI’s Public Safety officers.
“The University of Southern Indiana has students, faculty and staff numbering nearly 10,000. The presence of Indiana Law Enforcement Academy trained law enforcement professionals on campus will dramatically reduce our response time to emergency incidents and allow us to better protect the thousands of students who attend the campus on a daily basis,” said Sheriff Dave Wedding. “With the support of USI President Ronald Rochon, this new and unique partnership is off to a great start. Dr. Rochon first approached my office about enhancing the security of the campus when he was still USI provost. This set in motion a collaboration between the University and the Sheriff’s Office which culminated this past Wednesday when the new USI Patrol Unit deputies radioed ‘in service’ for the first time,” said Wedding
As the primary law enforcement agency for USI, the VCSO is responsible for investigating all crimes, including infractions, misdemeanors and felonies that occur on campus. USI Public Safety continues to serve as a central reporting point for the University community, and the on-campus deputies work in close coordination with Public Safety to ensure that information, requests and complaints are shared in a timely manner. Bequette said a key benefit to the presence will be faster response times when law enforcement is needed.
USI Public Safety Officer duties include traffic control, security of physical assets, and safety of all employees, students and guests of the campus. In addition, all security staff are trained in first aid and other emergency procedures.
The five sheriff’s deputies, including three USI alums, are Deputy Chad Gries, Deputy Gilbert Roberts ’99, Deputy Logan Osborne ’14, Deputy Clint Stanton and Deputy Toby Wolfe ’98 (starting October 01, 2018).
Deputy Chad Gries was sworn in as a sheriff’s deputy with the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office in 1998 after serving as a correction’s officer in Warrick County for two years. For the past 20 years he has been assigned to the motor patrol section of the Sheriff's Office. Gries earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice from John A. Logan College and is a graduate of Christ the King Elementary School and Reitz Memorial High School, both in Evansville.
Deputy Gilbert Roberts was sworn in as a sheriff’s deputy in 2004, after serving for four years as an emergency medical technician in the Vanderburgh County Jail. Roberts has spent the majority of his career assigned to the motor patrol section, but also has worked in the court security section and prisoner transport unit. He earned an associate’s degree in communication from USI, and is a graduate of Evansville Central High School.
Deputy Logan Osborne was sworn in as a sheriff’s deputy in February 2017. Born and raised in Evansville, Osborne earned a bachelor’s degree from USI in sociology with a minor in criminal justice, and is a graduate of Evansville Central High School. He was a student-athlete while at USI, playing for three years with the Screaming Eagles Men’s Golf team. Osborne began his law enforcement career in 2014 at the Vanderburgh County Jail, where he worked as a confinement officer for over two years.
Deputy Clint Stanton was appointed as a Ball State University Police Department officer in 2013 and was sworn in as a Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office deputy in February of 2018. Stanton earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Ball State University and a bachelor’s degree in Homeland Security from Vincennes University. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public administration at Ball State University.
Deputy Toby Wolfe was sworn in as a Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office deputy in 2000 after serving as a confinement officer for two years. He graduated from Harrison High School in 1993 and attended Butler University on a baseball scholarship. He later transferred to the University of Southern Indiana and continued to play baseball, graduating in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He spent 12 years as a field training deputy assigned to the motor patrol section, served briefly on a DEA task force and has been trained as a crisis negotiator. For the last two and a half years he has been assigned to the court security section.
More information about USI Public Safety, including tip line, crime reporting procedures, Rave Alert messaging and many other resources can be found on the USI website at USI.edu/security. More information about the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office can be found at www.vanderburghsheriff.com.
Photo Credit: USI Photography and Multimedia
Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding speaking as representatives from USI and the VSCO are present